East Lothian New Town, Blindwells, Tranent, Proposal

Scottish New Town – 21st century

News Excerpt re Edinburgh & Lothian Structure Plan

East Lothian New Town

Editorial: May 2002

Quote from East Lothian Local Plan, p.58:
“Options for the development of a new settlement favour Blindwells (1200 houses). As a free-standing settlement it would avoid the problems of integration with an existing community. Fenton Barns (1000 houses) has similar potential but its traffic impacts will be a significant issue….Although there is a railway station at Drem, the analysis suggests that it does not offer the potential for a new settlement in view of the harm to its character and setting. Additionally, if this wider area were to be considered appropriate for a new settlement, then as a free-standing proposal the Fenton Barns option may be preferable”:get involved – ‘letters’ to mail@edinburgharchitecture.co.uk


Waverely Car Park
Edinburgh City Council HQ: BDP’s plans for this eight-storey block, partly underground are submitted for Planning Permission and are reported to be near to conclusion.

Whilst the controversy ensues re the organised fly-posting, few seem to have realised that this submission has been reported to have gone to the First Minister despite having received planning permission: no news as yet. The Cockburn and AHSS considered the building to be too high. A contemporary building on Princes Street is exciting and of course the quality has to be there. The architects – 3D Architects – are not reissuing images currently so for now see the old ones at news_juneearly01.htm (archived) or the previous Press Release.

Leith: The announcement of proposals by Forth Ports for Scotland’s tallest towers and the possibility of an Edinburgh Guggenheim, down in the docks is old news: the Terry Farrell & Partners tower image has been published months ago as was the story about the Guggenheim advances. Nevertheless, these news items would transform our city and are to be watched closely.
GPO: At long last the builders move in to this Edinburgh Post Office HQ building: the decay over the years of this great Italianate building is a disgrace and an embarrassment.

RBS, Gogarbank: Initial designs for the Royal Bank of Scotland HQ project look hopeful but a review of the government PPG for the green belt in this area bordering Edinburgh Park is due within the next month.

Granton Waterfront: Official news has dried up from this development save announcements about selection of developers. Numerous architects are already undertaking designs for projects here within various masterplan groups of architects and developers/housebuilders: submissions are understood to be under evaluation.

East Lothian:
Proposed development sites in Drem, Dirleton and Aberlady visited. Drem’s recent development by Hamilton Homes is unimaginatively traditional like that proposed for Haddington Maltings and Dirleton Glebe: insufficient landscaping (no trees?!) gives a harsh impression across the fields, totally unlike the leafy nature of Drem’s older buildings. Prime locations should mean decent profits so why not demand more, eg. mature planting?

At least Dirleton’s eight-house New Manse scheme (land owned by Church of Scotland Trustees) is largely hidden behind mature trees, but the standard Cala Homes (upmarket or not) are pitiful additions to such a superb village: developers should be teaming up with quality architects to create unique solutions with unique designs. We need developers likeBuredi out in the sticks! The objectors don’t dispute that the site can be developed for housing

[as zoned], they just question the style and height. The East Lothian District Council development brief from 1988 maintains that the development “should be one of quality”: well how is that gauged?

The rise in total hits for the last three months has been sustained – again topping the previous total – and the site was added to Dundee University School of Architecture’s and Dresden Architecture, etc., but more importantly shot up the rankings on really major sites. Major developments include:-

1. being asked to do the Contemporary Architecture Tour for Scotland’s Virtual Architecture Centre through The Lighthouse Glasgow.
2. the creation of glasgowarchitecture.co.uk has commenced and the homepage will go online soon.

Major editions to the site recently include ‘Lismhor’, Edinburgh and ‘The Rink’, Gifford at Modern Houses. The RIAS Convention in Inverness was attended and reviews produced. The /unbuilt section needs more projects and I will be writing to certain architects soon. The /events section now carries lectures for all three University Schools of Architecture as well as plenty of SPAB and Cockburn Association events.

Houses opposition
East Lothian New Town Housing Proposals

A proposed development of 400 houses on the banks of the River Tyne is to be opposed by members of Haddington and District Amenity Society (HADAS). The proposal involves houses on fields on the north-east border of Haddington, land highlighted as potential development land in East Lothian Council’s recent Draft Structure Plan.

Haddington Golf Club are involved as an access road direct to Whittinghame Drive and the centre of Haddington (thus avoiding the busy A1) would cut through the tree belt, across the edge of their ground, through the 10th hole and 11th tee and then straight across the Tyne. A new Clubhouse is reported to be part of the deal.

Haddington’s Nungate Bridge is reputed to be the oldest in Scotland: the proposed new bridge should be of exceptional design. Edinburgh Contemporary Architecture will demand that a national Architecture Competition be held for this and encourage others to write to East Lothian Council with their views.

The proposal is by Bryant Homes who made a presentation to the Golf Club in late 2002. The houses are due to be medium to high value. A percentage of low-cost houses by another housebuilder are reported to be threaded into the development. A school is due to be placed at the west side (closest to Riverside Drive) and the flood plain is set to become a park.


Scottish Parliament

Missoni Hotel Edinburgh

Harvey Nichols

East Lothian building : house

East Lothian building : offices

Comments / photos for the East Lothian New Town Architecture page welcome

East Lothian New Town Building : page