Plans to build 300 houses in Gullane are flawed and would ruin the village

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WE KNEW that the Scottish Government had recommended more housing for Scotland but had not quite realised how this might impact on what was a village when I moved here in 1967 but it now a town – population around 3,700.

To say we are not happy about having 300 more houses is putting it mildly. I have yet to meet anyone who likes the idea or more importantly the placing of possible sites for this housing.

At a recent meeting – standing room only in our ‘village hall’ the vast majority of people attending were against these developments and an action committee – GOOD – Gullane Opposing Over-Development – was formed.

The council should note this will NOT go away and is only the start of the fight.

Approximately 300 more homes equals 600 plus people, probably more. Our school needs more facilities now, our roads and traffic control are not good and transport connections are variable to say the least. The village would need considerably more in the way of GPs and ancillary staff.

This is not the crux of the matter, however. There are three possible sites – the building that was the Fire Training school and grounds– owned I think by the Fire authorities. It is obviously a brown field site and we have seen some possible plans for it. This site is just possible – the utilities such as water, electricity, gas etc will all be on site now.

The problem, when I saw the plans, were access and space. Homes tend to have car owners and there appear to be no plans on the drawing for garaging or parking or a good road system. Access to both this site and the two greenfield sites would be dreadful if this goes ahead.

Then there are two greenfield sites – to the east and south east of Gullane. This is prime agricultural land with a diverse variety of wildlife, animals and birds, plants, insects, amphibians and good ecosystems. Gone will be the fields of wheat, barley, oats, oil seed rape, potatoes, and other crops. Gone will be hedgerows with nests and safe places for small mammals.

Access to the building sites would be down very narrow country lanes – where there are frequent cyclists, horse riders and walkers now– already narrow, winding and dangerous. Builders’ lorries and materials would prove a nightmare.

Furthermore, there are no shops whatsoever at that end of the village and no other general facilities.

To build there would be vandalism of the lovely countryside and desecration of what has been a lovely village. Is this what the planners want – or don’t they care?

I wonder how many of the planning committee actually live here? This is NOT another case of NIMBY (in fact I live in part of the village where it will have little impact on me personally), it is just the sheer thoughtlessness of the planning and lack of interest in our community welfare and feelings that is causing ructions.

So please heed us East Lothian Council and build houses elsewhere and do not destroy our rural community and countryside ecosystems.

Pat Morris

Hopetoun Terrace, Gullane