The land at Whitecraig North has been successfully promoted by Wallace through the East Lothian Local Development Plan process to obtain a housing allocation. Through a twin-tracked promotion and application strategy the site now has Planning Permission in Principle for 250 homes. The site has been openly marketed and is in the process of being sold to a housebuilder.
PROMOTION & ENGAGEMENT
Proposal and Promotion
Wallace promoted the land at Whitecraig North through the East Lothian Local Development Plan, which was adopted in September 2018. Through supporting representations that included analysis of the housing land supply, environmental assessment, site effectiveness analysis and a development framework report that included a masterplan for the site, Wallace was able to successfully prove to the reporter examining the plan that the site was deliverable as a housing allocation.
To further prove the deliverability of the site and obtain a planning consent at the earliest opportunity following adoption of the plan, Wallace decided to twin track the promotion and planning application for the site. Through Wallace’s due diligence, it was recognised that the Council’s allocation boundary for the site was not enough to allow one of the proposed road accesses into the site from a technical perspective. This informed Wallace’s planning strategy to include a larger application boundary than the proposed allocation to form enabling road infrastructure on greenfield land. Also, through assessment of East Lothian’s design guidance and policies, Wallace tested the site’s development density.
The proposed development density in the Local Development Plan was for 200 homes. Wallace, however, argued that 250 homes was desirable when the size of the site and the Council’s preferred density were taken into consideration. Wallace’s detailed masterplan for the site proved to the Council officers that this density could be appropriately achieved.
Wallace consulted extensively on the development proposals with the local community, conducting two community consultation events. The first was to explain the planning process and present initial proposals for the site. The feedback obtained was then used to inform a more detailed design presented at our second consultation event. The final feedback was generally positive and led to only five objections to the application being made. Wallace also consulted regularly with the Council officers on the content and progress of the application to obtain support for the development’s principles prior to the site being taken to committee. With officer support for the application gained through this process, the application was approved at committee.
To enable the sale of the site to proceed as efficiently as possible, Wallace agreed the sale strategy for the site with the Owner during the legal negotiations with the Council on the S75 planning agreement and marketed the site at the earliest opportunity following agreement of the planning gain package with the Council. With the benefit of Planning Permission in Principle for an appropriate density of development, Wallace maximised the development value of the site for the owner and the site is in the process of being sold to a housebuilder.