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Nearly 250 new homes planned for Hallhill

NEARLY 250 new homes could be built to the south of the East Coast Mainline in Dunbar.

A section of land at Hallhill North, to the west of the town’s Lochend campus of Dunbar Primary School, has been earmarked for development by Taylor Wimpey East Scotland and Hallhill Developments Ltd.

The scheme, if approved, would likely be the final development in the Hallhill area of the town, south of the railway line.

However, Dunbar Community Council has concerns about the proposals and how they would connect with the rest of the town.

The scheme is made up of 242 houses – 29 with two bedrooms, 91 with three bedrooms, 76 with four bedrooms and six with five bedrooms – as well as 29 two-bedroom flats and 11 one-bedroom flats.

Pauline Mills, land and planning director for Taylor Wimpey East Scotland, said: “We are delighted to confirm that we have made our detailed planning application for the development of land off Yosemite Park in Dunbar, following our consultation process late last year.

“Our proposal includes a provision of 25 per cent affordable homes within the development, as well as a range of contributions that can be announced when our discussions are concluded with the council.

“As well as delivering the next phase of new homes following completion of our Albany Grange development, our latest proposal for development will provide a range of economic benefits for the local area which includes supporting over 160 jobs per year of construction, as well as the attraction of new customers to local businesses.

“We believe this development would be a great further addition to the local area.

“It also complements our other developments across the region.”

Dunbar Community Council met with the developer at the beginning of last year.

Pippa Swan, the group’s chairwoman, said they had concerns about the proposals.

She said: “We knew it was coming as it is all part of the [Hallhill] masterplan.

“The comments that we made were simply about how the additional 240 homes were going to impact on the circulation of traffic along Brodie Road and the impact it was going to have on traffic into Belhaven past the hospital, on Hospital Road and Beveridge Row.”

The drawings for the development, which is with East Lothian Council’s planning department, highlight space being left for a pedestrian tunnel under the railway line to the north.

Talks have been taking place for a number of years regarding the possibility of reopening the tunnel, between Ash Grove and Elm Street, or creating a new tunnel.

Mrs Swan stressed the importance of creating a development that was “porous” and allowed connectivity between the town to the north of the East Coast Mainline and the homes at Hallhill, to the south of the railway line.

She said previous discussions had estimated the cost of a pedestrian tunnel to be in excess of £1 million and added: “It would be absolutely marvellous if it happened.

“It is the same old chestnut – who owns the railway line? Who is going to pay to reopen the tunnel?”

Meanwhile, separate proposals for a further 37 homes in Hallhill are still being weighed up by East Lothian Council’s planning department.

Harrison Hunt Ltd and Hallhill Developments Ltd are looking to build new houses on the south-west corner of the Hallhill area, between Beveridge Row and Yosemite Park.

The proposed housing is a mixture of three and four-bedroom properties.

The plans, which were submitted to East Lothian Council’s planning department in November last year, show 13 of the homes would be four-bedroom detached properties.

The remaining 24 homes would all have three bedrooms, with 12 of the properties detached, eight of them semi-detached and four as terraced homes.

By Cameron Ritchie

Source: East Lothian Courier