Ambitious plans to develop a mixed-use centre at the heart of East Lothian’s new town, Blindwells, including more affordable homes, have been submitted for approval.
The project proposals, led by regeneration and property development specialist Hargreaves Land, could see new shops, offices, restaurants, supermarket and business space all constructed on 5 acres at Blindwells.
Included in the plans are sixty affordable apartments overlooking the newly created Princes Loch. Also proposed are a new wellbeing centre, care home, gym and community space as part of ambitious plans to create a sustainable and pedestrian friendly town centre.
Extra bus stops, active travel paths and electrical vehicle (EV) charge points are also proposed, supporting the principles of a ‘20-minute neighbourhood’. This approach is based around creating communities to allow residents to meet their daily requirements within a few minutes’ walk of their front doors and includes access to sustainable modes of travel.
Hargreaves Land, which is working with planning and development consultants Turley and EMA architects to bring forward its plans, expects the move will create a ‘vibrant and bustling’ new centre at the heart of Blindwells, delivering a significant economic boost for the local area in the process. This includes hundreds of jobs in the construction, supply chain, and local services sectors, which could all follow if the latest phase of development gets the green light from East Lothian Council which is anticipated early in the new year.
Onsite construction work could start as early as mid-2024.
Jonathan Graham, senior development surveyor at Hargreaves Land, said: “Our ambitious plans mark another exciting chapter in the Blindwells story. We are investing for the future, building a town centre that will create a new destination and an exciting sense of place for residents, adding to their overall wellbeing and living experience.
“We’re also working with our partners to deliver much needed affordable homes, ensuring schemes like this one are a welcome addition to local communities and contribute towards providing high quality housing for people in places where they want to live.”
Kate Donald, director at Turley, said: “We’re proud to provide ongoing support to Hargreaves Land to help them deliver exciting plans for Blindwells. This latest application will see the creation of a vibrant town centre which will provide key amenities to the wider new community that is being created.”
Hargreaves Land is the developer behind the regeneration of Blindwells, which lies between Tranent, Cockenzie and Port Seton and has been earmarked for new housing for more than a decade as part of the regeneration of one of Scotland’s former coalfields.
Over 150 new homes are already occupied with housebuilders Persimmon, Bellway and Ogilvie all currently active at Blindwells, with Hadden Homes and Avant Homes also proposing to commence onsite in the new year.