Council approves 1,600-home development on former coal mine

Infrastructure specialist Hargreaves Services has secured planning approval in principle for a 1,600-home project in East Lothian, Scotland.

Architect EMA has proposed transforming the Blindwells site – formerly an open cast coal mine until its closure in 2000 – into a garden city featuring affordable housing, business units and a new school.

The scheme forms the first phase of a wider masterplan to build 3,200 homes over the next 12-15 years.

Iain Slater, development and estates director for Hargreaves, said: "We have worked in partnership with East Lothian Council to deliver its original vision for a new community and we are confident that Blindwells will provide a high-quality lifestyle set around some of Scotland's finest countryside.

“We're delighted that the first phase has been granted planning approval in principle and we look forward to working with the council to ensure delivery of the targeted development investment and associated benefits for East Lothian."

Work is expected to commence shortly and will require Hargreaves to invest £5m of upfront capital in groundworks and enabling infrastructure, such as roads and connections to utility networks.

Once completed, Hargreaves is expected to begin the phased sale of residential development plots to national and local housebuilders over a number of years.

Gordon Banham, chief executive officer of Hargreaves, added: "The grant of planning permission now allows us to develop and commercialise the site and we look forward to providing further updates and information as our plans progress."

Picture courtesy of EMA Architecture + Design Ltd

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