Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Mine Firm to Create Town

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Mine Firm to Create Town

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Keighley Business writer tom.keighley@ncjmedia.co.uk

ONE of the North East's largest companies is set to build a new town in Scotland.

Hargreaves Services, the Durham-based mining and bulk material logistics firm, is hoping to secure planning consent in the coming months for a major development comprising 1,600 homes, a school, community facilities and commercial units on the site of a former open cast mine in East Lothian.

Hargreaves acquired the Blindwells site, near Tranent, in July 2013 from the liquidators of collapsed Scottish Coal, in a portfolio of some 30,000 acres of land.

The 300-acre site, which stands on the north east side of the A1, overlooks the Firth of Forth and will likely become a commuter settlement for Edinburgh.

It has been allocated for residential development by East Lothian Council, and Hargreaves submitted an application for the plans in October. In a move designed to drive maximum value from its old mining assets, Hargreaves will spend an estimated PS10m-PS12m to prepare the site for building by housing developers.

Iain Slater, the firm's head of property development, said the project is one of six former mining sites in Scotland that Hargreaves is looking to develop, with plans including renewable energy installations, forestry and housing.

He said: "We've spent just over 18 months working with the local authority on this project to get the most value from the site. …

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