Proposals for a new secondary learning facility for the Musselburgh area are progressing with an online consultation as part of the early planning process running 14 September to 19 October.

Additional secondary school facilities are needed to accommodate a growing school roll in the area due to ongoing and planned housing development. A site to the north of the new Wallyford Primary School was marked in the Local Development Plan for the creation of a learning campus.

The consultation will offer members of the public an opportunity to comment on developed proposals. It will be the first time that artists’ impressions of the learning campus have been presented.

Alongside modern teaching and social spaces the new secondary learning facility will include specialist provision for young people with severe and complex needs, a dedicated Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) centre, and a Tots and Teens area. Community spaces and a day centre for older people as well as new sports facilities are also planned. The proposed plans show a building designed to complement the new primary school with extensive glass, access to natural light and brick-clad facades. 

East Lothian Council’s development partner, Hub South East, has arranged events to gain feedback on the proposals as an early stage of the planning process. Comments gathered on the Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) will be used to inform the final planning application, which is expected to be submitted in November 2020 and will also be the subject of a more detailed consultation. 

With Covid-19 restricting the ability to hold public consultation events, an interactive online session will give members of the public the opportunity to discuss the proposals with the project team, including architecture firm JM Architects. The event will take place on Wednesday 23 September from 2pm-8pm [see notes to editors]. A special consultation event has also been organised for members of Wallyford Community Council, which will be held on 9 September. All documents will be available to view on the council’s consultation hub from 14 September until 19 October 2020 at: www.eastlothianconsultations.co.uk

The council’s five-year Capital Investment Programme set aside £45.83m for the development. In September 2019 it was announced that the project would receive funding from the Scottish Government’s Learning Estate Investment Programme.

Decorative improvements amounting to £150,000 were undertaken at Musselburgh Grammar School last year and an additional £808,000 has been set aside by the council for further upgrades. Additionally, and following consultation with the school, redevelopment of new toilets and social space, which was programmed for Autumn 2020, will now take place from Easter 2021. 

Covid-19 has affected the development of housing coming forward within the region and across the construction sector to the extent that the development is not planned to open in August 2022. The Council and its partners are revisiting schedules alongside school roll projections to develop a timescale for this development and further announcements will be shared as the planning process moves forward.

Cabinet member for Education and Children’s Services Councillor Shamin Akhtar said: “We’re pleased to share these proposals as part of the first stages of the planning process. The development was the result of extensive community consultation in the earliest stages of these discussions. It represents a significant investment in new facilities for learning, leisure and the community. I encourage everyone to view the proposals online and share their views through the consultation hub to shape our plans.” 

Hard copies of the consultation posters will also be available to view outside Wallyford Primary School, Musselburgh Grammar School and at the Brunton Hall from 14 September. Comments can be sent directly to the architects’ firm

To participate in the live event on 23 September members of the public should email [email protected] to register their interest and receive a link.

Published: Wednesday, 9th September 2020