East Lothian’s town centres are a key element of the area’s economic and social future, and are hubs for all of our communities. Because of the importance of our town centres, supplementary guidance has been prepared as an addition to the recently adopted East Lothian Local Development Plan 2018 (ELLDP)
After a period of public consultation, East Lothian Council submitted this draft guidance to the Scottish Government for approval. Ministers approved the draft guidance with no changes so it is now formally adopted as part of the ELLDP and can be taken into account as a material consideration in planning decisions taken by East Lothian Council and its Planning Committee.
The draft guidance was subject to a six week period of public consultation, which included letters being sent to each Community Council, Area Partnership and Business Association in East Lothian and drop-in events. The drop-in events were widely publicised in the local media, on the council’s website, via posters in council buildings and on social media. The consultation was also available on the council’s online Consultation Hub.
The majority of people and organisations who took part in the consultation broadly agreed with the aims set out for each town centre in the supplementary guidance.
Councillor Norman Hampshire, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “This is a very important piece of work as it forms a strong plan for what the council and local residents and interested parties would like to see in terms of improvements and development in our town centres. It gives us strong guidance on what developments will be acceptable and what will not, so that we can ensure that new development contributes to providing a range of uses within town centres that supports their vibrancy, vitality and economic future. The guidance covers all forms of regeneration, including a better shopping experience and visitor experience, action to improve the appearance of town centre buildings as well as improvements to parking facilities and flow of traffic. We have set out short, medium and long term goals for each of our towns to ensure a strategic approach to the issues faced by each town centre to help achieve sustained improvement.
“The hard work of our planning teams in pulling this together is evident as the Scottish Government were content to approve this detailed guidance without making any changes. We were grateful to everyone who contributed via the public consultation.”
The supplementary guidance on Town Centre Strategies can be viewed on the council website