East Lothian Council has lodged a Pre Application Notice (PAN) for the masterplan to redevelop the former Herdmanflat Hospital in Haddington. As part of the planning process, a three month public consultation will now be carried out.

This will provide the local community the opportunity to comment on and help shape the council’s proposals for redeveloping the site.

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. Anyone with an interest in the site’s future can attend local consultation events or can submit their views in writing to the council. We will also be engaging with key local organisations – in particular, Haddington & District Community Council.

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. Members of the public need only attend one event as the same information will be provided at both:

  • Tuesday 24th January, 5-8pm, Haddington Primary, Upper School, Neilson Park Road, Haddington
  • Friday 27th January, 2-5pm, Trinity Centre, Church Street, Haddington

Stage Two will allow members of the public an opportunity to hear how the Stage One consultation responses and comments have been considered by the council and allow an opportunity for further comments in advance of the planning application in principle being lodged. Again, members of the public need only attend one of these events as the same information will be provided at both:

  • Friday 24th February, 2-5pm, Trinity Centre, Church Street, Haddington
  • Tuesday 28th February, 5-8pm, Haddington Primary, Upper School, Neilson Park Road, Haddington

All of the events will be drop-in. Attendees do not need to register their attendance in advance and will not need to attend for the whole three hours.

Responses can be submitted at the drop-in events or can be sent to the Housing Strategy & Development Team by emailing hsd@eastlothian.gov.uk or writing to them at Herdmanflat Consultation, Housing Strategy & Development Team, East Lothian Council, John Muir House, Brewery Park, Haddington, EH41 3HA.

Published: Tuesday, 10th January 2023