97: Letham—Commuters or Community?

It seems I have incurred the wrath of the local editor who finds it “difficult to know what to make of my incredible comments” on the proposed 750-house development at Letham, west of Haddington. An article on page 6 makes my reservations clear; adding up to 1,600 people to Haddington’s 8,851 residents is not the issue.

My issue is that the furthest part will be over 2km from the Town House and, given developer-dictated housing mixes seen across the county, these will be mostly two-vehicle family homes. Easy road access to the A1 at the Oak Tree and worsening congestion in (as well as distance to) the town will discourage use of the centre.

This repeats mistakes at Spott Road (Dunbar) and Windygoul (Tranent), where we built nice homes but not communities. East Lothian still boasts lively, resilient communities but the sheer scale of tract homes that developers love to build make them ever-harder to digest if planners ignore making town centres easily accessible. Section 4 (Vision) of ELC’s Development Framework for Letham fails to even mention that vital goal.

About davidsberry

Local councillor, tour guide and database designer. Keen on wildlife, history, boats and music. Stood for the Scottish Parliament 2011; lost by 151 votes.
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4 Responses to 97: Letham—Commuters or Community?

  1. quintin jardine says:

    There was a time when the views of newspapers reflected their take on what was best for the communities they serve, rather than on what’s best for their sadly declining circulation figures. There was a time also when Haddington had a local newspaper, in the East Lothian Courier, but it doesn’t any more, just an shoddy wee rag that’s produced miles away, and wouldn’t accommodate a decent fish supper. As for the other one, it never really existed as such. ‘News’? That’s a laugh. It’s so clued up that its current big ‘news’ story features deer venturing into the centre of Gullane. Not bad, it’s only taken them ten years or so to catch on to that one. Worry not, Dave, there are those who you’d rather have agin’ than for you. Being condemned by the Courier is akin to having Gary Glitter endorse your local playgroup. In each instance, the public will see through it.

    As for your substantive points, they are well made. You might even have gone back to the 1960s and added Longniddry as a further example.

  2. Candy says:

    Well done Quintin our local press has indeed lost the respect it enjoyed in the heady days of the Haddington Courier. Then it was published locally by local people who understood the individual character and appeal of our communities.
    David is right to raise his concerns in the Council. Tranent and Prestonpans has large estates which have no connect to the town to which they are appended. To be fare, East Lothian had to meet its obligations in the Strategic Plan, however, smart planning is called for to ensur comment cohesion.

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