The first of thousands of new homes could be built at the new town of Blindwells by the end of this year
The first of thousands of new homes could be built at the new town of Blindwells by the end of this year.
Last March, East Lothian Council’s planning committee gave the first phase of the plans – one of the largest the county has ever seen, including 1,600 homes, business units, a supermarket, primary school and various green spaces – the go-ahead.
Preparatory work has continued since then and Iain Slater, development and estates director for Hargreaves, which is behind the proposals, was delighted to say “everything is progressing well”.
Section 75 Agreements – which sees developers put money aside for everything from education facilities to roads and other infrastructure improvements – are due to be signed off this month.
At the same time, housebuilders will start bidding for the first section of the site, which will see in the region of 55 to 60 homes built.
Mr Slater said: “We had an open day in about the middle of November and had big housebuilders on the site and showed them round.
“We showed them the fly-through video and what the site would look like. We got them to look over to Fife, Arthur’s Seat and Berwick Law.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm for the site. It is a long time coming but hopefully by March we should have our first offers in for the first 60 plots.”
Although planning permission in principle was given for housing on the site, which is between Tranent and Longniddry, by the council’s planning committee, the successful developer will need to submit a planning application outlining the precise details of what the housing on its particular smaller site will look like.
If that were to get approval, Mr Slater anticipated work could begin on the house building by the end of the year.
A council spokeswoman said: “The council is working with Hargreaves to finalise the Section 75 Agreement and allow the planning permission in principle to be granted.
“Following that we expect to receive applications from developers for the detail of how the infrastructure, community and commercial facilities and the housing areas will be developed.”
It is thought as many as 350 jobs could be created during the lengthy construction period.
The plans have been talked about for more than 20 years, with work on the 1,600-home first phase expected to take place over the next 12 to 15 years.
Early plans for a second phase, to the east of the now-approved site, were revealed in 2015, including a cemetery and leisure space, as well as a further 1,600 homes.