We want to express our deep concerns and raise critical questions regarding the recently submitted planning application for the redevelopment of the Herdmanflat Hospital site in Haddington.

While the proposal highlights several positive aspects – the redevelopment of the existing buildings, for example – there are troubling considerations that necessitate careful examination, particularly concerning community objections to the housing development on the south of the site, the role of Government support in purchasing the site, the perception of a fait accompli in the consultation process, and the conflict between the roles of applicant and planner at East Lothian Council.

The Herdmanflat Steering Group believes that preserving the south of the site in its current state (or improved) is crucial for maintaining the historical integrity of the green space that contributes to the unique character of Haddington and the local community.

READ MORE: Haddington: Plans lodged for up to 145 homes at Herdmanflat Hospital

At a time when we need to think more and more long-term as we are in a council-declared climate emergency, the Herdmanflat development might meet short-term housing objectives but there is no sense of responsibility for protecting our cultural and heritage sites for generations to come.

We wish to underscore the need for an exhaustive and transparent examination of the Herdmanflat planning application, with a specific focus on the separation of roles within the council and ensuring that any redevelopment aligns with the long-term interests and wellbeing of the local community, and that the planning process adheres to the principles of fairness and impartiality.

Susan Forgie

Herdmanflat Steering Group

Friends of Herdmanflat