Consultation opens on proposed affordable housing at Haddington hospital site

Consultation opens on proposed affordable housing at Haddington hospital site

Image by Oberlanders Architects

East Lothian Council has lodged a Pre Application Notice (PAN) for the masterplan to redevelop the former Herdmanflat Hospital in Haddington.

Affordable housing for older people that will assist in meeting East Lothian’s growing demand is being prioritised for the land.

As part of the planning process, a three-month public consultation will now be carried out giving the local community the opportunity to comment on and help shape the council’s proposals for redeveloping the site.

Oberlanders Architects is working with East Lothian Council and Hub South East on the plans.

The council’s head of housing, Wendy McGuire, said: “We want to hear the views of local people on the initial proposals that we have developed for the former hospital site.

“As many people will be aware, the council purchased the site from NHS Lothian in April 2020 with support from the Scottish Government, when the hospital’s services moved to the new East Lothian Community Hospital. We have always been aware that future development needs to be done in a sensitive manner, taking into account the unique nature of the site including its size, location, listed buildings and existing green space and mature trees, which we know is important to the local community.

“Detailed investigative work has been completed to understand how best to bring forward proposals that maintain the integrity and heritage of the site whilst also strengthening its role as a valued community asset. Our initial proposals focus on agreeing a masterplan for the development which will hopefully see much needed affordable housing for older people as well as the opportunity to meet the needs of the wider community within East Lothian. We are looking at a mix of affordable new build and refurbished properties that will assist in meeting East Lothian’s growing demand and I would urge anyone with an interest in the site to get involved in the consultation process.”

Over the past two years, the council’s Housing Service has been working closely with East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership to assess the likely levels of demand for housing for older people.

In the meantime, to improve safety on site and maintain public access, the council completed necessary grounds maintenance, demolition of non-listed buildings and asbestos removal, as well as installing new security measures to prevent antisocial behaviour.

This next step forward for the site involves engaging with members of the public and local businesses. All views collected or submitted during the three month consultation will be considered prior to a planning application in principle being lodged (likely to be in April 2023). At that point, interested parties will again have the opportunity to comment via the planning process.

The consultation will run from Monday 9th January, when the PAN is lodged, and will close on Monday 10th April.

A two stage consultation process is planned over January and February. Stage One will allow members of the public to attend a drop in presentation.

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