Update relating to the Haddington Town Centre Design Project
The board of Haddington Community Development Trust (“HCDT”) is represented on the Steering Group for the proposed Town Centre Project, as are Haddington Community Council and Haddington and District Business Association.
Following a number of community engagement workshops, East Lothian Council made funding available to commission Edinburgh based designers, Ironside Farrar, to work with the community’s ideas in order to prepare a range of options, setting out how the town centre could be improved and to bring some of the benefits that the community had asked for. The community’s ideas included improvements to the space available to walk or cycle and for people to linger and enjoy the retail and hospitality options the town centre has to offer. Ironside Farrar presented possible options to the community over 3 consultation sessions during Autumn 2017.
The Trust believes that everyone agrees that something needs to be done to improve Haddington’s town centre. However, we always knew it would not be easy to achieve a solution which pleases everyone. The “Save Haddington’s On Street Parking” campaign, and social media discussions have highlighted very real issues that affect those using the town centre. It’s clear that some local people and businesses feel that their opinions haven’t been taken into account. We believe this is the community’s project and there is still plenty of time for opinions to be heard. Residents can talk to their Community Councillors and businesses can work with the Haddington and District Business Association. Both these organisations are represented on the steering group.
We understand that the Council and the consultants will be guided by the community and no decisions will be made until there is an agreed approach on how best to improve the town centre.
The HCDT board believes to implement a better town centre design there may need to be changes to the way the town centre operates. This will undoubtedly require a review of current parking arrangements, but most importantly any changes must bring much-needed space for people to move around and enjoy the town centre and all it has to offer.
This project is so important for the town and we would welcome the opportunity to meet with the other community groups. Without a shared vision this project may never happen. Haddington deserves better.