Planning & Building
Standards and Economic
A Town Centre Strategy
East Lothian Council
John Muir House
30 March 2010
HADDINGTON TOWN CENTRE STRATEGY 2009- 2014
Introduction and Vision 3
Profile of Town 3
Policy Context Haddington Town Centre 4
Diversity of Land Use in Town Centre 6
Future Retail Provision in Haddington 9
Built Environment and Public Spaces 11
Movement and Access 13
Development Opportunities 15
Visitor Information and Facilities 17
Community Facilities and Safety 17
Management of the Town Centre 19
The Way Forward 21
How the Strategy Proposes to Address the Issues Identified 22
in Haddington Town Centre
Proposed Action Plan 2009-2014 26
Appendix A Haddington Town Centre Retail Analysis 2002 - 32
Appendix B Buildings at Risk and in Poor Condition 38
Appendix C Haddington Town Centre – SWOT (Strengths, 39
Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
Map 1 Haddington Town Centre Boundary
Map 2 Buildings at Risk and Priority Areas for Action
Map 3 Weekly Footfall 2008
Photo 1 Farmers Market
Photo 2 Market Street car park
Photo 3 Corner Hardgate / Victoria Terrace
1 This town centre strategy for Haddington is for a five-year period from
2009 to 2014. It is supplementary planning guidance to the East Lothian
Local Plan 2008. It envisages that:
“In 2014 Haddington will have a vibrant and bustling historic
town centre. Its commercial centre will have accommodated
growth with new retail and commercial opportunities in mixed
use redevelopment sites and many of its historic buildings
will have been comprehensively repaired and brought back
into use. The successful town centre will have a range of
shops that meet the needs of both the town and its
hinterland and encourage visitors through the quality of its
overall retail and cultural offering and its high quality historic
2 The aims of this Town Centre Strategy are to:
1. Retain the vibrancy of Haddington town centre
2. Make improvements to the town centre that support existing
businesses and town centre users and to encourage new small
independent retailers in the town centre
3. Attract more visitors and increase footfall in the town centre
4. Identify places where the town centre is able to provide for the needs of
a growing town
5. Highlight where investment is required in the town centre
3 The following sections examine Haddington town centre under a series of
topics, the key points and issues arising from each being summarised as
bullet points. The strategy to address the issues that have arisen from the
study of the area and the aims of the strategy follows and precedes the
25-point Action Plan that it is proposed will deliver the town centre strategy
for the period 2009-2014.
4 This strategy has been prepared at a time of potentially significant change
for Haddington town centre with the town set to grow and interest from
major retailers in out of centre stores. Both this draft strategy and the
Haddington Retail Review will be out to consultation at the same time to
allow all those with an interest in the future of Haddington town centre a
chance to see the whole proposed picture. All representations received to
this draft Town Centre Strategy will be reported to and considered by East
Lothian Council in due course with the final strategy thereafter.
Profile of Town
5 Haddington is a historic market town with a population in 2001 of 8,600. It
operates as the main administrative centre for East Lothian.
6 Haddington serves as a centre for its rural catchment area. Research
undertaken for the Haddington Retail Capacity Study1 identified a
significant level of trips from Gifford, Pencaitland and East Linton with
additional trips from the Gullane, North Berwick, Dunbar, Humbie,
Longniddry and Cockenzie/Port Seton areas. Many of these are linked
trips where shoppers would purchase, groceries and also visit financial
institutions and non-food shops, so helping the vitality and viability of
Haddington town centre.
7 Major employers in Haddington are in public administration (East Lothian
Council), health and finance. It supports over 5,000 jobs, a figure that
exceeds its working age population.2 Haddington also has significant
levels of inward and outward commuting and is within what is regarded as
easy commuting distance from Edinburgh.
8 The town centre is one of the finest examples of medieval burgh
architecture in any small town in Scotland, containing a historic triangular
street pattern made up of High Street, Market Street and Hardgate with
Court Street providing a grand avenue to the west containing early town
houses, with most now in use as financial institutions. It has a busy feel,
with over 150 commercial premises and is compact and fairly easy to get
around. A main supermarket is located to the rear of Market Street within
easy reach by foot of all other commercial premises. The town centre
offers a wide range of food shops, non food shops, speciality shops,
charity shops, hot food takeaway premises, financial institutions, pubs,
restaurants and small hotels.
9 The population of Haddington is forecast to grow by approximately 18%
when land allocated for 750 houses at Letham Mains to the west of the
town is completed. This development is expected to be under construction
in the latter part of the strategy period and will contain a new primary
school and a small local neighbourhood centre.
10 Although the town centre of Haddington is important in East Lothian its
proximity to Edinburgh affects the range of goods and services available
within the town. There is evidence of comparison expenditure leakage
from Haddington to Edinburgh.
Haddington Retail Capacity Study 2006 and 2007 Update Roderick MacLean Associates
Figures supplied by NOMIS web.co.uk and from Census 2001
Haddington is a local centre serving the town and its catchment
Proximity to Edinburgh affects the range of goods and services
available within the town
Haddington is a busy, attractive and growing town
Policy Context for Haddington Town Centre
11 Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) sets out Government Policy on Retailing at
a national level. It promotes a sequential approach to new retail and
commercial development and increased vitality (how busy the town is) and
viability (its capacity to attract investment). It sets out what is required
through town centre strategies and health checks.
12 SPP acknowledges that traditional town centres in small towns such as
Haddington are key to maintaining the life of a town and its local economy.
They are not immune to wider economic trends however, and the growth
of internet shopping, the attraction and perceived accessibility of edge of
city retail developments (e.g. Fort Kinnaird, Gyle Centre) and the growth in
the number of and range of products retailed by national supermarket
chains impact on the viability and vitality of small towns.
13 The Edinburgh and Lothians Structure Plan retailing strategy aims to
ensure that people have access to a full range of high quality shopping,
minimising the need to travel and maximising local economic benefits. The
location of shops should be equitable, accessible and sustainable with
priority given to recognised town centres, including Haddington. It supports
investment that increases vitality and viability through improvements to the
environment, access, amenity, marketing, range and quality of facilities.
New out-of-centre retailing is restrained unless there are recognised
deficiencies and no town centre opportunities to address these.
14 Planning authorities must define town centre boundaries, keep under
review strengths, weaknesses, vitality and viability of individual centres,
consider scope for practical improvement and identify specific
development opportunities. In support of the policies and proposals of the
East Lothian Local Plan 2008, this Town Centre Strategy aims to address
15 The East Lothian Local Plan 2008 defines Haddington town centre as the
area extending from the Railway Hotel junction in the west to the Victoria
Bridge in the east and from Fortune Avenue to the north to Langriggs and
Neilson Park Road in the south. See Map 1.
16 Proposal RET1 places a responsibility on the Council to prepare this town
centre strategy for Haddington in line with national guidance. It should
assess the performance of the centre and cover matters including diversity
of use, access and environmental improvements and development
17 Change of use of a property from one use class to another often requires
planning permission. The town centre land use policy3 supports
development of the mixed uses associated with a town centre - retailing,
offices, leisure uses and housing. The policy protects existing retail uses
and, within the town centre, the change of use of ground floor retail units to
housing is not permitted. A change to other uses is only permitted where
the retail use is no longer viable or the benefits of the proposed use to the
vitality and viability of the area outweigh the loss of the shop.
18 Permission is not required to change from one form of retail to another
therefore the planning authority cannot control the range of retail on offer
in a town centre. A café / restaurant can change to a shop or a service
and a service use can change to a shop without permission. However, a
change of use from retail to either a service use or a café / restaurant
19 Local plan policies also protect the character and appearance of the
Haddington Conservation Area.4 Advertisements are carefully controlled
to retain an attractive town centre without inappropriately large or garish
advertisements.5 A policy for Haddington ensures that town centre
advertisements are not individually illuminated ensuring a consistency of
character.6 Advertisement consent is granted for a period of 5 years.
Policy ENV2 Town & Village Centres East Lothian Local Plan 2008
Policy ENV4 Development within Conservation Areas East Lothian Local Plan 2008
Policy DP10 Advertisements East Lothian Local Plan 2008
Policy ENV6 Illuminated Advertisements East Lothian Local Plan 2008
Map 1: Haddington town centre as defined in East Lothian Local Plan 2008
Diversity of Land Use in the Town Centre
20 Recent research identifies that successful town centres have a mix of
retail, leisure, entertainment and cultural facilities. Their own identity and
sense of place is defined by quality of design and focus on public realm. A
healthy retail sector has a good retail mix, choice, diversity, anchor stores
and preferred shopper formats, low vacancy rates, low turnover, good
physical fabric and fascias, competitiveness and capacity for change.7
21 There are about 150 retail and commercial units in the town centre, a
figure that has not changed since 20028. The proportion of shops
reached a peak in 2006 of 56% but has since declined to 49%. There are
now 5% more retail units than non retail units whereas in 2002 the
difference was 16%. The number of vacant units was at its lowest at 3%
between 2004 and 2006 (and the proportion of vacant floorspace was
even lower at 2%) but had increased to 7% (11 units) in the 2008 survey.
Details are contained in Appendix 1.
22 Vacancy rates are in line with national vacancy rates of 7%9. Overall,
market demand for commercial units is reducing within the town centre, a
trend reflected elsewhere in the UK in 2009. Vacant units reduce the
appeal of a town centre and affect its vitality and viability. However, there
is some evidence that recent vacant units, particularly in High Street, have
been reoccupied fairly quickly and those that are vacant are widely spread
and in relatively good repair.
Scottish Government Housing, Regeneration & Planning Literature Review, (2009) “Policies
Adopted to Support a Healthy Retail Sector and Retail Led Regeneration”.
Haddington Retail Survey, East Lothian Council 2008
23 Most commercial units, about 60%, serve local custom rather than
attracting people in from elsewhere. Examples include newsagents,
chemists and bakers. The balance comprises the type of businesses that
attract people to Haddington in addition to meeting local demand.
Examples include building societies, the toy shop, sports shops and
24 The overall amount of retail floorspace in the town centre is approximately
12,500 sq m gross. This is split approximately 50/50 between convenience
and comparison goods shopping. In terms of the number of units
however, comparison goods shops make up 34% and convenience 15%.
The town centre contains one national supermarket chain, Tesco, with the
rest of the town centre made up of some national chains such as Boots,
Greggs and M&Co, but the great majority are small independent
operators. National multiple chains make up only about 7% of town centre
units. Haddington therefore offers a clear ‘home town’ shopping appeal
rather than a ‘clone town’ of UK recognised brands. Part of the reason for
this is the size of shop units, many of which are too small for national
multiple chain formats.
25 Analysis of the retail offering shows that there while there is a broad range
of goods on offer within the centre it is not a complete range, for example,
there are no major electrical goods (white goods) retailers. A significant
number of shops can be classed as specialist shops, likely to attract
people from outside Haddington to shop. Examples include Cobblers of
Melrose, Mason’s Children’s shoes, Dancewear and Mains the Saddlers.
Specialist food shops include the game dealers, delicatessen, and fish
shops. The farmers’ market attracts 1000 people every month and acts as
a catalyst drawing people to the town.
Photo1: Haddington monthly Farmers Market
26 Haddington town centre has a good range of financial institutions with four
bank branches, a post office and several building societies and other
financial services. The number of charity shops has increased by one unit
since 2002 from four to five units, representing around 3% unit occupation.
27 There are a range of upper floor uses in the town centre including
residential, shop storage, studio, hotel, office and professional services
with residential the most common. Several upper floors are either
underused or disused. The majority of shop units are well presented and
kept in good condition though a small number, around 4%, are in poor
condition and bring down the overall quality of the town centre.
28 Haddington has a good variety of non retail services which account for
around a third of retail floorspace and 44% of units. This reflects the
nature of the town as an administrative centre, which adds support for
29 Within the town centre are a broad range of eating establishments and
pubs catering for local need and visitors. A total of 17 liquor licences for
public houses, hotels, restaurants and off sales, and two betting licences
for bookmakers are in place in the town centre.
30 Measured against the performance of other similar towns, (Kelso,
Strathaven, Hawick, North Berwick and Linlithgow)10, Haddington was
found to be recording average retail rent levels for a small town, attributed
to the size of the shop units and the fact that demand is mainly from small
independent operators. Its convenience shops, including the supermarket,
were regarded as trading well.
31 Most of the shops are small units within historic buildings or awkwardly
configured, therefore often unsuitable for modern multiple retailers and
some independents. Excluding the supermarket, the average shop size
was 110sq m gross. Occupancy rates are generally higher than the
Scottish average. To improve or maintain yields from commercial
premises Haddington needs to maintain and repair its large stock of
historic buildings in the town centre. Owners of property without good
tenants are more likely to be wary of undertaking major repairs though
equally good tenants may be wary of taking space in poorly maintained
32 The Town Centre Healthcheck identified the quality of Haddington’s
historic environment as one of its greatest strengths along with the vitality
stimulated by the range of shops and services, which include a
mainstream supermarket in its town centre.
The number of commercial units in the town centre is static but the
town’s population is set to grow suggesting some increase in town
centre businesses could be necessary
The range of commercial services in the town centre is broad but not
Haddington Retail Capacity Update 2007 and Town Centre Healthcheck
People are attracted to Haddington town centre by its range of
commercial services and by the quality of its overall environment
Although not performing badly, commercial rent levels are
comparatively low and commercial yield levels are affected by the
condition of historic buildings in the centre
Events can draw people into the town with associated benefits for local
The Planning Authority is limited by law on the extent of control over
changes of use or type of shop within the centre
Future Retail Provision in Haddington
33 Haddington town centre currently has one major food supermarket (Tesco)
at Calder’s Lawn behind Market Street. Another supermarket (Aldi) at
Whittingehame Drive lies outwith the defined town centre, although only a
short walk from its eastern edge. The town centre supermarket is
particularly busy, to the point of overtrading.
34 In 2006, the Council commissioned an independent assessment of the
adequacy of retail floorspace in Haddington11. This was updated in 200712
and again in 200913. The updated 2009 study concludes that there is
capacity to support additional convenience retail floorspace in Haddington
of up to some 3,000 sq ms (gross) floorspace by 2014 or of 3,500 sq ms
(gross) retail floorspace by 2019, taking into account planned town growth.
This is the equivalent of a supermarket of 3,700 sq ms (gross) by 2014
and 4,400 sq ms (gross) by 2019, assuming about 20% of non-food retail
floorspace. (For comparison, the floorspace of the existing supermarket in
Haddington town centre is approximately 3,600 sq ms (gross)).14
35 The updates also noted that most available non-food expenditure within
the Haddington catchment area is attracted to other destinations,
particularly to Edinburgh. The update noted that a small retail park in
Haddington of the order of 4,600 to 5,600 sq ms (gross) might be able to
retain some of this expenditure leakage, provided that this was restricted
to sales of bulky goods.
36 East Lothian Council must consider if it should identify location(s) for new
retail facilities in Haddington. There is known interest from supermarket
retailers and other commercial property developers in potential retail sites
at or near the edge of Haddington. The Council is undertaking a
Haddington retail review to determine its position on major new shopping
development in the town. The results of the retail review, and the
Haddington Shoppers Survey, CNN Research, 2006 and Haddington Retail Capacity Study, 2006,
Roderick MacLean Associates Ltd
Haddington Retail Capacity Update 2007 and Town Centre Healthcheck, Roderick MacLean
Associates Ltd. March 2008
Haddington Supermarket Opportunities and the Town Centre 2009, Roderick McLean Associates
Ltd. December 2009
Note that the operator of the existing town centre supermarket has an unimplemented planning
permission for a 1,300 sq ms (gross) extension to their store
determination of any subsequent retail planning applications, may require
revision of the town centre strategy before 2014.
37 By submitting a planning application for a food superstore at Gateside
East, Tesco has indicated that it wishes to relocate to a site on the edge of
Haddington. Depending on what would happen with the site of the existing
store, there could be a substantial reduction in the amount of retail
floorspace and overall footfall in the town centre. The removal of the draw
of a town centre supermarket would, in the view of the Council’s retail
consultant, harm the vitality and viability of the town centre.
38 Edge or out-of-town retail developments can affect the vitality and viability
of a town centre. The results of surveys of retailers in North Berwick and
Dunbar on the effects of new out of town supermarkets indicate that these
have resulted in a reduction in turnover in town centre shops which in turn
affects viability.15 The Haddington Retail Capacity Study has indicated that
a new supermarket would very likely improve the convenience shopping
offering in Haddington as a whole but that the relocation of the town centre
supermarket would result in a greatly diminished role for the town centre
for convenience retailing and reduced vitality generally with rationalisation
of town centre convenience stores likely. Given Haddington’s local
importance and vulnerability in this regard, a new supermarket
development outwith the town centre would require to be clearly justified
under national, structure plan and local plan retailing policy.
39 The capacity update concluded that, due to substantial leakage of local
expenditure on comparison goods, principally to Edinburgh, new retail
space for comparison goods (whether within a new supermarket or at a
small retail park) is not a threat to Haddington town centre, provided that it
is restricted to the sale of bulky goods. It is predicted that it would claw
back expenditure leakage rather than take away significantly from existing
Further convenience goods retail provision is required in Haddington to
meet predicted demand as the town grows
There is significant leakage of comparison retail expenditure out of
Haddington. Some of this could be clawed back by provision of new
comparison good retail facilities at the town centre, a retail park or
within a supermarket. This would not threaten the retail offering of
Haddington town centre
The need for and location of any further retail development in
Haddington will be determined by East Lothian Council as planning
authority in 2010
Dependent upon the results of the Haddington Retail Review, this
Town Centre Strategy may need to be reviewed.
High Street Healthcheck Dunbar and North Berwick East Lothian a Three Part Study, East Lothian
Council Economic Development Division 2008
Built Environment and Public Spaces
40 One of Haddington’s key strengths is its identity as an attractive market
town. The overall quality of the town centre environment is an important
indicator of how well it is performing and of its potential to attract people
whether local or visitors.
41 Haddington is a historic burgh and its centre is recognised as one of the
finest and historic townscapes in Scotland with almost every building in the
centre is listed16. See Map 2. The construction of a bypass in the 1930s
(Haldane Avenue) preserved much of the town centre from
redevelopment. The town centre is the focus of the wider Haddington
Conservation Area. The overall quality of its townscape is a key asset to
the town centre providing it with a small historic market town identity and
helping distinguish it from other centres.
42 Enhancement projects to the public realm in Court Street outside the Corn
Exchange and Sheriff Court and the re-landscaping of Lang Riggs and
Included on the statutory list of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest compiled by
Historic Scotland, an executive agency of the Scottish Government
Ross’s Close have made significant improvements to those parts of the
Conservation Area. In comparison, the streetscape of High Street and
Market Street would benefit from upgrading to meet the standards now
expected in a historic Conservation Area.
43 The physical condition of many of the buildings in the town centre,
particularly those in multiple ownership, is not always good. For example,
some of the attractive 18th century buildings in the south east corner of
High Street present a generally poor appearance, and other buildings,
even where outwardly of reasonable appearance, can mask underlying
fabric problems. Sustained investment in common repairs to roofs,
chimneys, windows and stonework coupled with a concerted effort to
improve the external decoration of town centre buildings, including
shopfronts and advertisements, would provide long lasting and sustainable
enhancement to the town centre townscape.
44 The east end of the town centre, particularly some of the private properties
on Kilpair Street, Brown Street, Market Street and the George Hotel area,
suffers from vacant or underused property, unfinished development, gap
sites and buildings in need of repair. Appropriate redevelopment and the
repair and conversion of the vacant buildings needs to be encouraged to
bring this part of the town centre Conservation Area up to standard.
45 At the west end of High Street, historic buildings in Lodge Street are
vacant or underused and are earmarked for conversion to the John Gray
Centre, an East Lothian Council project supported by Historic Scotland
and Heritage Lottery Fund, to provide a new town library, local history
centre, museum, exhibition space and archive record store. On completion
this will be a significant attraction for the town centre, increasing footfall
and drawing people into the centre. Lodge Street will house the main
entrance to the new centre but needs to be sensitively improved.
46 Appendix B and Map 2 identify the buildings regarded to be at risk in the
town centre and those groupings of buildings that require repair and
47 There is a long history of painting the exterior of buildings in Haddington,
providing a colourful, vibrant appearance to the town centre. However,
many buildings require redecoration and a number of colour schemes do
not fully complement either the architecture of the building or its
neighbouring properties. Planning permission is required to change the
colour of property within the town centre Conservation Area. A Paint
Scheme created in the 1960s could be revised to coordinate paint
schemes though the owners and lessees of property would have to be
encouraged to change colour schemes to enhance the overall appearance
of the town centre.
48 Town centre improvements undertaken in the 1960s also encouraged
symbolic shop signage, a number of which still remain in place e.g. the
three dimensional boot above Mason’s shoe shop. This practice was for a
period strongly associated with Haddington and therefore is a part of the
distinctive offering of the town, and could be revived and extended if shop
operators were willing to do so.
49 The public realm is defined as the open spaces, roads and footpaths,
fountains, monuments and street furniture that occupy public spaces
between buildings. Like many historic burghs, Haddington town centre
has closes and pends running between or underneath its old buildings to
access backland areas. Some for example, Ross’s Close, have been
recently landscaped, others such as Burleigh’s Wa’s between Brown
Street and Hardgate are not currently used due to dilapidation. Many
closes are private, some gated or with street doors. In Dunbar, these
closes were given nameplates reflecting their historic names or uses and
this could be introduced in Haddington.
50 Re-landscaping works to Court Street significantly enhanced both the
setting of its grand civic and commercial buildings and provided new
pedestrian gathering space, now used for the monthly farmers markets. In
contrast, High Street has limited pedestrian space in places and is busy
with two-way traffic, parked vehicles and buses. Its footways could be
realigned, space given over to the car reduced, a new traffic flow system
introduced and the streets repaved in higher quality materials. Such work
is very expensive and time consuming and experience elsewhere
suggests can be detrimental to trade during construction. Its benefits /
disbenefits would have to be discussed in detail with those living and
working in the town centre before decisions were taken.
51 Small landscaped areas such as those around the George Hotel are
planted, offer points of historical interest and are well maintained. The
corner by Kinloch House needs some improvement to railings, paving and
seating areas. A courtyard to the rear of Market Street is well landscaped
and provides a well used pedestrian link to the supermarket and to a
recently restored formerly derelict building now housing a dental practice.
52 New street furniture is necessary from time to time and should be of a
suitable design and located as sensitively as possible.
The overall quality of its townscape is key to the economic well
being of the town centre providing it with a small historic market
town identity and helping distinguish it from other commercial
Deterioration in the condition and appearance of many, often
privately owned, town centre properties threatens the economic
well-being of the town centre.
How the town centre looks has an effect on its ability to attract
people to it – deterioration can lead people to go to use other
The public realm is an important part of the town centre and needs
to be well maintained and attractive. Improvements can add good
quality space new space to the town centre such as the space
outside the Sheriff Court now used for monthly farmers markets.
The refurbishment of pends and closes encourages their use and
helps the appreciation of the historic burgh architecture.
The Haddington Paint Scheme should be revised to encourage
coordinated colour schemes for those buildings that are painted in
the town centre.
Movement and Access
53 Haddington town centre is a destination on the main regular frequency bus
route between Dunbar and Edinburgh with other routes serving Gifford,
North Berwick and the town service. There are no bus lay over facilities in
Haddington and at times up to 4 buses are waiting in High Street.
Haddington has no rail service, the closest station being at Drem.
54 Cycle parking is available on street at various locations within the town
centre and there are some cycle safety measures on main roads into
Haddington. Some cycle parking provision is of poor quality and the
locations require review to ensure their usefulness to cyclists.
55 There is an extensive pedestrian path network from residential areas to
the town centre. The town centre is compact therefore distances between
facilities are short. The town centre supermarket is well linked by a series
of paths to Market Street, Court Street and Newton Port. Pedestrian
crossings have been installed at the busiest pedestrian locations in Court
Street and High Street. Market Street and Sidegate have crossings at the
traffic lights at the east end. No further crossings are planned.
56 Pedestrian flow counts undertaken in September 2007 and November
2008 show that High Street is the busiest street (see Map 3). The busiest
location is outside M&Co. on Court Street with a weekly pedestrian flow of
over 10,000 to and from the supermarket, which indicates that the
supermarket is contributing significant extra footfall. There was no
significant change in pedestrian numbers between the two count years.
Overall the pedestrian flow counts indicate that the town centre is well
used contributing to its vitality.
57 The main town centre car parks are to the north of Market Street accessed
from Newton Port that serve the town centre supermarket (3hr maximum
stay) as well as having a long stay facility. At weekends the car parks to
the rear of the Sheriff Court/Council campus on Court Street provide
additional long stay parking. Free on-street parking is available throughout
the town centre, with waiting restrictions to encourage turnover of spaces,
and controlled by Lothian & Borders Police, traffic warden service. The
proportion of vehicles parking less than 90 minutes in the centre is high,
reflecting the current waiting restrictions. Parking peaks between 11.00am
and 3.00pm depending on location. Turnover of parking spaces is
generally good with availability on average at 80%. During peak periods
however, parking demand exceeds capacity, though the healthcheck
noted that there is pressure on car parking in most small town centres and
the situation in Haddington was not unusual.
58 Some direction signs to car parks are in place but there is scope for
improvement in the directions and information given. There is no park and
ride facility for Haddington.
59 The longer term parking requirement, including its management,
throughout East Lothian will be examined by specialist consultants taking
into account current parking practice, development pressures, economic
growth, tourism and residential demand. In due course this may have
implications for parking in Haddington town centre. Any subsequent
regulatory changes will require revision to the traffic regulation order.
60 Traffic flows are highest on Court Street but congestion is rare. Whilst
most vehicles have business in the town centre, there are also a
significant number of cross town journeys using Court Street, High Street
and Hardgate. Traffic speed within the town centre is generally low,
compounded by those seeking parking spaces. Traffic studies have
suggested that traffic flow within the town centre could be improved by the
introduction of a one way gyratory system west along High Street and east
along Market Street. A one-way traffic system could allow opportunities to
increase pedestrian space but could also result in the loss of some on
street parking spaces.
61 Retail businesses in the town centre are serviced at any time of the day by
a full range of vehicles. Surveys indicate that servicing rarely takes longer
than 15 minutes and much of it is done through the front door as rear
servicing is not available to many premises. Half the retail premises
receive servicing every working day. Supermarket deliveries are carefully
timed to minimise impact on the centre. There are no dedicated service
/loading bays within the town centre.
A bus layover facility would reduce the presence of waiting buses in
Cycle parking facilities in the town centre should be reviewed.
Pedestrian flows are stable and indicate the centre is well used. Some
path improvements may be required to ensure ease of movement and
connection with other paths.
Directional signage to car parks should be reviewed to ensure clear
information is provided to users.
Traffic management in the town centre should be reviewed with the
permanent option of a one-way system considered along with
reorganisation of space, addressing servicing issues, parking and
improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
62 Haddington is a growing town with its population expected to increase by
18% as a result of planned new development in the period to 2015. The
overall number of commercial premises in the town centre has remained
largely static constrained by the size of units and by the lack of
development opportunities. New commercial space in the last 10 years
has been provided from building restoration at 42-46 Market Street,
redevelopment at Hardgate and 57-59 Market Street and change of use
from office to a mini shopping mall at 38 Market Street.
63 The town centre contains two development opportunities at the east end:
1. Market Street – the small car park adjacent to the Bay Horse public
house. A gap site since the last war it has exposed backs of
buildings for too long and blighted the surrounding area. East
Lothian Council prepared development guidelines in 2005 for the
redevelopment of this site to create a mixed use development with
residential on upper floors and commercial units at ground.
Development must comply with the following principles:
Ground floor to provide flexible space for retail, office or other
Development of 2-3 storeys fronting both Market Street and Brown
Street no higher than neighbouring buildings.
Market Street and Brown Street frontage should reflect traditional
plot widths using subtle variations in building line, height, design
Market Street Car Park
The site is owned by East Lothian Council. A planning application from
a private developer was submitted in 2008 for a mixed use infill
development on the site.
2. Hardgate / Victoria Terrace corner site – a former garage / filling
station is a redevelopment opportunity for a mixed use
development. Located on the edge of the town centre, it should
provide flexible space for retail, office or other commercial uses on
the ground floor with residential on upper floors. This is a sensitive
corner site that requires a strong building line to the front of each of
the two streets. The height and mass of the buildings should vary
on the street frontage, to enable it to fit comfortably into the
streetscape and not to dominate the junction. Buildings of 2-3
storey with ridge heights not exceeding neighbouring buildings are
likely to be acceptable. The site is privately owned and in 2009 its
owners have expressed interest in its redevelopment for mixed
Corner Hardgate / Victoria Terrace
64 A number of vacant or underused buildings also require repair/conversion
and/or a new use. These include the former Courier building at 18-20
Market Street, former warehouses on Kilpair Street and the former
bank/office buildings on Lodge Street. All of these are listed buildings.
Mixed use development is acceptable in principal to combine commercial
development that will support the town centre with new residential
The redevelopment of these sites would provide new commercial and
residential opportunities for the town centre and allow growth on
Visitor Information and Facilities
65 Visitors are attracted to Haddington because it is regarded as an attractive
and historic town and by its niche shopping outlets, eating establishments
and leisure and recreational opportunities (e.g. golf, riverside walks, sports
centre). The Visitor Information Point in Lady Kitty’s Doo’cot at The Sands
close to the town centre is run by Haddington Community Council
volunteers and recognised by Visit Scotland – 1400 visitors during 2008. In
addition to widely distributed leaflets and publications specifically for
visitors to the town, other visitor information is supplied by town trails and
information/interpretation boards throughout the town. Not all
interpretation boards are in good condition however, and information for
visitors should be reviewed to ensure that it serves modern tourist needs.
66 Specific events, for example, the monthly farmers market and the annual
Haddington Festival Week draw visitors and locals form a wide area into
the town centre.
67 The proposed John Gray Centre will add a new cultural dimension and
visitor draw to the town centre.
The full range of visitor information should be reviewed to ensure that it
remains relevant and informative
The proposed John Gray Centre will add a new visitor destination
supporting the range of activities in the town centre
Community Facilities and Safety
68 Haddington offers a range of community facilities befitting its status as a
commercial and service centre. East Lothian Council provides the
Haddington Library and Local History Centre, Aubigny Sports’ Centre and
the Bridge Community Centre as well as the Corn Exchange and Town
House as public halls for hire for local events. The library facilities are
cramped and require replacement, planned for in the new John Gray
Centre. High quality public toilets are provided in the town centre and
medical facilities are available at Newton Port surgery. A number of church
halls and hotel function suites are available for hire for community and
69 East Lothian Council developed a new community warden service in 2008
to deal with issues of minor anti-social behaviour including dog fouling,
litter offences, night time noise nuisance and to deter and prevent crime.
They also report environmental and maintenance issues to promote a
cleaner local environment. In Haddington, as in the other East Lothian
towns, the most prevalent anti-social behaviour issues are minor ones
related to under-age drinking, general rowdiness, dog fouling and litter.
Most of the licensed premises are in the town centre and the compact size
of the centre and its high buildings tend to amplify any noise nuisance to
residents. Public pends and closes off High Street have been identified as
a location for anti-social behaviour, a nuisance to those living nearby. To
tackle this, plans have been prepared to restrict entry to the closes by
means of time controlled locked gates between 10pm and 5am. These
gates will remain in an open position outwith these hours.
70 Haddington town centre has closed circuit television coverage linked to a
24-hour control centre. In 2008 a total of 128 incidents were recorded
including drunk drivers, fights, large gatherings, underage drinking,
suspicious persons and shoplifters.
71 Of the total number of crimes committed in the Haddington beat area the
town centre accounted for 29%, or 298 in 2008. The majority of committed
crimes were for dishonesty (28%), vandalism (24%) and minor assaults/
breaches of the peace (32%). Generally crimes committed were evenly
spread throughout the town centre, though pends and closes to the south
of High Street were the scene for a number of these crimes.
72 Haddington town centre is a relatively low crime area and the type of
crimes committed are low level crimes. Through partnership working with
East Lothian Council and others, Lothian and Borders Police aim to reduce
incidences of crime occurring in the town centre through targeting the
common types of crime.
Haddington town centre appears to be well provided for in terms of
An enhanced new library, local history centre and archive centre will
provide a significant new community facility and visitor attraction at the
new John Gray Centre.
The new Community Warden service focuses on anti social behaviour
and provides a responsive service dealing with issues such as graffiti.
Haddington town centre is a low crime area.
Management of the Town Centre
73 East Lothian Council manages the overall environment of Haddington
town centre through the following services.
74 The community warden service patrols Haddington town centre daily
reporting vandalism, graffiti and dealing with anti-social behaviour.
Offensive graffiti is removed within 24 hours.
75 Commercial waste is collected either by authorised commercial waste
companies, or by East Lothian Council. Recycling points are available at
the supermarket car park, John Muir House and the Plough Inn.
76 Haddington town centre is cleaned and inspected on a daily basis. Litter
picking on green areas also occurs daily, while grass cutting, weeding etc
is normally on a 10-day cycle during the summer. Hanging baskets are
installed throughout the centre from July to October.
77 The Business Gateway Service encourages aspiring new businesses to
become established and provides a range of training courses on, including
customer care and window dressing relevant to town centre businesses.
The Economic Development Division also engages with local business
groups such as Haddington Business Association.
78 The Council has regular liaison with the Haddington Community Council
on tourist information, events and other areas of community concern.
The town centre is managed by various service departments within
East Lothian Council, with regular liaison with the Community Council.
79 Haddington town centre is busy and vibrant. This is due to a combination
of factors including the presence of a town centre supermarket as a draw
to the centre; its role as an administrative centre; the presence of many
people living and working in the town centre and partly to its long standing
role as a local service centre for the surrounding area. The first aim of the
strategy is therefore to retain that vibrancy in the town centre. The second
is to make improvement where required to support existing businesses
and town centre users and to attract new users.
80 To achieve this there are areas of the town centre that require
improvement for example in signage, quality of public realm and the
condition of some of its buildings. There are also development
opportunities that, if taken, would make an appropriate incremental level of
growth to the town centre providing new residential and commercial
81 This strategy is a first step towards improving the management of the town
centre in association with the resident community and the business
82 With the population planned to grow, Haddington has the opportunity to
increase the range of commercial activity in the town centre. This is
market led, with the role of the Council being to encourage new
development within the town centre whilst protecting its high quality
townscape. Managing this growth and resultant pressures on the town
centre will require detailed analysis of traffic management, parking,
servicing and the historic environment to ensure that the town centre
accommodates change in an appropriate way.
83 The historic environment is one of Haddington town centre’s key assets
and should not be taken for granted. Buildings may be privately owned,
but are the attractive backdrop appreciated by the whole community that
use the town centre. Owners need to invest in their buildings to undertake
good quality repairs to stonework, chimneys, windows, roofs, gutters and
downpipes, shopfronts to retain the architectural character of both the
individual building and the wider Conservation Area. Where buildings are
vacant or under used, they need to be brought back into positive use.
Improvements to landscaped areas and encouraging owners to repaint
buildings in a coordinated way would significantly enhance the overall
appearance of the town centre townscape.
84 The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Haddington town
centre are listed in Appendix C. It will face new challenges, yet to be
determined, as a result of the ongoing interest in out-of-centre retail park
and supermarket development, to be considered in the Council’s
Haddington Retail Review. The town will need to adapt to continue to be
a successful town centre meeting the needs of all its users.
85 Haddington is not immune to wider economic trends that will be very
challenging for at least the initial period of this strategy. However,
successful town centres are those that have a clear identity, have
attractive places within the centre, good transport links, can accommodate
change and have diversity and choice. Haddington’s identity is clear – that
of a historic, and attractive market town that is also a local administrative
centre. Its location makes it an accessible town well served by buses, if
not by trains. It has attractive places within the town centre though more
could be done to improve the overall public realm. It has the scope to
accommodate some growth and currently has diversity and choice in the
range of goods and services available. With public and private investment
in the right places it can ensure that it retains its position as an important
centre in East Lothian.
The Way Forward for the Town Centre Strategy
86 The following are the main stages in delivering the Town Centre Strategy:
1. Establishment of town centre steering group – elected members of
East Lothian Council, council officials, community and business
2. Implementation of the Haddington town centre strategy.
3. Development of performance monitoring framework encompassing
footfall counts, vacancy analysis, rental levels, building conditions.
4 Review of Strategy 2014
How the Strategy Proposes to Address the Issues
Identified in Haddington Town Centre
Profile of the Town
87 Haddington is a local centre serving the town and its catchment population
but its proximity to Edinburgh affects the range of goods and services the
market is able to make available in the town. The fact that it is an
administrative centre and holds a high proportion of jobs helps its vitality.
88 To retain the vibrancy of Haddington town centre it is important to retain
the jobs in the town and the reasons that people choose to use the town
centre. This is threatened by the withdrawal of the town centre
supermarket, which is a significant draw for people to the town centre.
The extent of the threat would depend on what was redeveloped in its
place and how successful a draw to the centre that would be.
89 Vacancy rates amongst shops and businesses have recently increased,
though are at or below national rates. Whilst vacant units should be filled
quickly to avoid decline in the overall appearance of the town centre these
are market led decisions. The development of the range of shops and
services in the town centre is also market led. However, support for
prospective new businesses, for the development of retail business
services and for advice and training for town centre businesses is vital to
encourage new business and the development of existing businesses.
Regular campaigns to encourage people to use their local town centre are
Policy Context and Diversity of Land Use in the Town Centre
90 As Haddington grows in population, so the town centre can be expected to
become proportionately busier, suggesting that an increase in the number
of town centre businesses may be required. The overall number of units
has been static but there is scope for some new units to be provided within
the defined town centre. Many existing units are small and constrained by
the buildings in which they are located therefore any new units should
provide more alternative modern and flexible space offering something
different within the town centre. One of the reasons why Haddington town
centre has a low proportion of multiple/chain stores is the limited range of
business premises available and these moves may allow existing
businesses to expand or the attraction of a different type of new business
to the centre.
91 To achieve this the strategy identifies places where the town centre is able
to provide for the needs of a growing town at Market Street and at
Hardgate/Victoria Terrace and indicates how those site should be
Future Retail Provision in Haddington
92 Further convenience goods retail provision is required in Haddington to
meet predicted demand as the town grows but there is leakage of
comparison retail expenditure out of Haddington and principally to
Edinburgh. Some of this could be clawed back by provision of new
comparison goods retail facilities at the town centre, a new retail park or
within a supermarket. New comparison goods retailing is not expected to
threaten the town centre. Subject to any planning appeals, the location of
any further retail development in Haddington will be determined by East
Lothian Council as planning authority in 2010, as part of its Haddington
93 To achieve this and to further identify places where the town centre is able
to provide for the needs of a growing town, there will be extensive public
consultation on the proposed Haddington Retail Review at the same time
as the Town Centre Strategy to determine the views of the public. These
will be reported to East Lothian Council as planning authority after the
consultation period to determine the future course of action.
Built Environment and Public Spaces
94 The aim of the strategy is to make improvements to the town centre that
support existing businesses and town centre users. As the overall quality
of its townscape is key to the economic well being of the town centre and
how the town centre looks affects its ability to attract people to it, it is
important for the economic future of the town centre that its buildings and
spaces are in good condition. Pedestrians need to be encouraged to
reach the town centre safely, through a pleasant environment and when
they get to the town centre it should be a place where they want to spend
time and money on goods, services and its leisure facilities and to enjoy its
95 To achieve this, the strategy is to embark on a series of public realm
improvements, including pavement repair, enhancement of public spaces
and reorganising traffic, parking and the overall environment of individual
streets. One of the towns distinctive features is its painted buildings and
repainting as many town centre buildings as possible to a more
coordinated overall scheme would help to emphasise this distinctive
identity. Where shopfronts or signage is poor, owners and lessees will be
encouraged through enforcement of legislation and possible grant
assistance to make improvements. The physical condition and appearance
of many of the town centre’s buildings is poor and this needs to be tackled
to avoid a spiral of decline that can affect commercial confidence in the
Movement and Access
96 The Movement and Access section of the report identified that pedestrian
and cyclists facilities in the town centre should be reviewed and improved
to ensure that pedestrians feel comfortable accessing and using the town
centre and cyclists have effective bike parking facilities where these are
needed. It also highlighted the need for good signage to town centre car
parks and that traffic management in the town centre could be reviewed to
improve traffic flow, retain town centre parking, consider servicing issues,
bus facilities and improve the overall environment of the town centre for all
its users. Taken together these improvements are required to ensure that
the way in which town centre users access the centre does not deter them
from using it.
97 To achieve this, the strategy is to evaluate the present temporary one-way
traffic flow in the centre, caused by ongoing building repair work, and to
consider, in consultation with all users of the town centre, the
reorganisation and environmental improvement of the High Street. This will
include pedestrian, cyclist and bus facilities.
98 The redevelopment of the two sites identified in the strategy within the
town centre would provide new commercial and residential opportunities
for the town centre and allow growth on suitable sites.
99 To achieve this, requires owners of the land and developers to work
together and with East Lothian Council to ensure that a good quality
redevelopment is achieved. The larger part of the site at Market Street is
owned by East Lothian Council and the Council, as land owner, must
ensure that its sale ensures a high quality mixed use development that
supports the town centre. The site of the former Ideal Garage is privately
owned and prospective developers must work with East Lothian Council to
ensure that a mixed use development that that contributes to the quality of
the Conservation Area and supports the town centre is delivered.
Visitor Information and Facilities
100 To attract more visitors and increase footfall in the town centre, successful
and effective town centres must offer a range of good visitor information
and facilities for visitors to enjoy their stay. To attract more visitors the
centre has to be a place that people enjoy being in and offer the facilities
including the range of services that people want to see in the centre.
Effective town centres offer more than just retailing and other services.
They require to have a broad range of permanent leisure attractions,
including pubs and restaurants catering for all sectors and to have other
attractions too. Temporary events have been shown to increase visitors to
the centre and require to be supported.
101 To achieve this, the range, availability and location of visitor information
will be reviewed. A new visitor centre and attraction, the John Gray
cultural and heritage centre, will be developed at Lodge Street to provide
library, museum, archive, local history and genealogy services that will
give a further reason to visit and support Haddington town centre.
Management of the Town Centre
102 The town centre is managed by various service departments within East
Lothian Council with regular liaison with the Community Council.
103 To improve the management of the town centre the Council will also liaise
with the business community and help to build the capacity of local
business associations to undertake activities in support of the town centre.
104 Town centre performance needs to be measured and monitored to ensure
that the town centre strategy continues to be effective.
Haddington Town Centre Strategy
Proposed Action Plan
Action Delivery How When
Future Retail Provision in Haddington
1 Public consultation on the Town ELC (Environment) Publication of Haddington Retail Review: discussion paper May – June
Centre Strategy and the future of inviting comments supported by a public event and 2009
retail development in Haddington. information session.
Community Facilities and Safety
2 Develop a broader range of ELC (Community East Lothian Council proposes to convert buildings at 2010-11
attractions in the town centre Services) Lodge Street to create the John Gray Centre comprising a
including a new cultural and new library, museum, archive store, local history centre
heritage centre. and genealogy centre.
Built Environment and Public Spaces
3 Repair and convert the tenement ELC (Property) East Lothian Council organising comprehensive repair of March –
at 92 High Street (former this key townscape building in High Street including the November 2009
Jackson’s the Jewellers building) Wrights & Masons historic shop. Project on site.
to 2 flats and a restored historic Trust
shop unit for let.
4 Target the repair of buildings in ELC (Environment Historic Scotland and East Lothian Council will implement June 2009 –
poor condition in Haddington town and Housing a Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme for March 2014
centre through the implementation Services) Haddington. This will offer grants for:
of the Haddington Conservation Repair of target tenement buildings within Haddington
Area Regeneration Scheme Historic Scotland town centre.
Small building repair grants for individual architectural
Private Owners features e.g. chimneys, shopfronts
Public realm projects
Historic Scotland has awarded East Lothian Council
£836,000 over a five year period to implement the
Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme. Additional
finance from East Lothian Council and private owners
should ensure that the total invested in buildings and
spaces amounts to approximately £2 million.
5 Improve the quality of shop ELC(Environment) Owners of shopfronts in need of repair may be eligible for 2009-2014
frontages and advertisements in small building repair grant assistance under the
the town centre. Private Owners Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme.
Haddington Shop and commercial businesses advertisements receive
Business advertisement consent for a limited period of 5 years.
Association Signs that are in poor condition or are inappropriate for
their building should be targeted for replacement.
6 Public Realm Project: ELC (Environment) Stage 1 – to examine the feasibility of and options for re- 2010 - 12
Improvements to High Street. ELC (Environment) landscaping High Street; improving traffic flow through
in liaison with the consideration of a permanent one-way gyratory in the
business and town centre, retaining parking; reducing bus waiting;
residential improving conditions for pedestrians and using materials
communities that enhance the historic environment in liaison with the
business and residential community
Stage 2 – to investigate sources of funding and how the
work could be phased to minimise disruption to the town
7 Public Realm Project: Re- ELC(Environment) Stage 1 – High Street to Paterson Place. Implement 2011-2012
landscape Lodge Street to proposals for hard landscaping of Lodge Street, retaining
complement the John Gray Historic Scotland and enhancing its historic character and ensuring that the
Centre. new John Gray Centre is accessible by all.
Stage 2 – Paterson Place to Neilson Park Road - Bring
forward options for a landscape scheme for Lodge Street
for discussion with businesses and residents.
8 Public Realm Project: Consider ELC(Environment) Bring forward options for a new landscape scheme for 2010-2014
appropriate re-landscape Kilpair Street / Brown Street and the area where Kilpair
proposals for Kilpair Street / Brown Historic Scotland Street meets Market Street that meets the needs of its
Street. users and better enhances its historic environment.
9 Encourage the suitable re-use of ELC (Environment) Discussions with owners and encouragement to repair / 2009-2014
identified buildings at risk in conversion proposals. Grant assistance if appropriate.
Haddington town centre. Private Target Buildings:
Owners 18-20 Market Street (former Courier Building)
Kilpair Street Properties
Lodge Street Buildings (proposed John Gray Centre)
10 Public Realm Project: Nameplates ELC (Environment) Stage 1 – identify historic names for suitable pends and 2012
to historic closes throughout the closes in the town centre in consultation with owners and
town centre Private Owners the community.
Stage 2 manufacture and install nameplates
11 Public Realm Projects – Upgrade Private Owners In association with private redevelopment proposals in 2011-13
and reopen Burleigh’s Wa’s Brown Street re open and upgrade Burleigh’s Wa’s, an
ELC (Environment) historic pend and link between Brown Street and Hardgate
12 Town centre paint scheme East Lothian Prepare a revised Haddington Paint Scheme for painted 2009/10
Council buildings within High Street, Court Street, Market Street
Environment and Hardgate in consultation with town centre residents
and businesses. The Paint Scheme to be implemented as
Private Owners and when repainting is proposed by owners.
Movement and Access
13 Undertake annual pedestrian flow ELC (Environment) Annual commission of an independent company to November 2009
counts in the town centre. undertake pedestrian flow counts. and annually
14 Improve visitor parking signage. ELC (Environment) Review existing directional signage and information. 2009-2010
15 Review existing signage in town ELC (Environment) Officers from the Transportation and Policy and Projects 2010/11
centre and rationalise/improve will jointly review existing signage.
16 Develop a parking management Specialist Consultants will report to East Lothian Council in late 2009 2010-11
strategy for Haddington Consultancy after analysing existing and projected situations and
proposing traffic management models for all parts of East
ELC (Environment) Lothian. Resultant decisions will be incorporated into a
future review of this strategy.
17 Revise the Traffic Regulation East Lothian Examine where changes are required to the existing Order 2010 - 12
Order for Haddington town centre Council and liaise with businesses and residents to promote a
(Environment) revised Order.
Visitor Information and Facilities
18 Develop tourist information ELC (Environment) Monitor visitor numbers to existing neighbourhood 2009-2011
availability for visitors. information point; continue to train staff to deliver a good
Haddington service and consider best long term location for visitor
Community Council information. With the development of the John Gray
Centre there will be the opportunity to locate visitor
Visit Scotland information in a new centre that will be a focal point for
19 Review existing interpretation ELC Environment In consultation with relevant community and tourism 2010/11
within the town centre and bring and Community groups ELC will consider how the town centre can be
forward appropriate proposals for better interpreted for the visitor.
20 Encourage new commercial space ELC (Environment) Implementation of Policy ENV 2 of East Lothian Local Plan 2009-2014
in redevelopment opportunities. 2008.
Management of the Town Centre
21 Develop retail business services, ELC (Environment) Provision of full business services by Economic 2009-2014
advice and training for Haddington Development.
town centre businesses and
potential start up businesses.
22 Encourage the take up of vacant ELC (Environment) Provision of quality information and advice for prospective 2009-2014
commercial units in Haddington business investors.
town centre. Private Owners
23 Support smaller local retailers ELC (Environment) Implement regular Shop Local campaigns to support Annually
smaller local retailers
24 Encourage events and attractions ELC (Environment) Work with Haddington Farmers Market, Haddington 2009-2014
in Haddington town centre. Community Council and community groups to develop
Haddington marketing and new events for Haddington.
Town Centre Monitoring
25 Monitor town centre retail ELC (Environment) Regular surveys of businesses to understand how 2009-2014
performance. businesses are performing in Haddington town centre.
26 Monitor implementation of East ELC (Environment) East Lothian Council Environment Policy and Projects will 2009-2014
Lothian Local Plan 2008 policy. monitor the effective application of East Lothian Local Plan
2008 policies for Haddington town centre.
25 Develop the capacity of Haddington Regular meetings with agreed actions between HBA and 2009-2014
Haddington Business Association Business ELC Economic Development.
to represent town centre retailers. Association
Haddington Town Centre Retail Analysis 2002 - 2008
1 East Lothian Council has conducted Town Centre Retail Surveys in
Haddington annually since 2002 (with the exception of 2003). The retail
survey records amongst other information the use, sphere of influence and
condition of each unit within the town centre. An analysis of these surveys
identifying consistencies and emerging trends is provided below.
Use of Ground Floor Retail Units
Haddington Town Centre
Ground Floor Use Trends 2002 - 2008
30.0 Non - Retail
2002 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Figure 1: Haddington Town Centre Ground Floor Use Trends 2002 - 2008
2 Figure 1 shows that the proportion of town centre units occupied for retail
and non-retail (services, food and drink etc.) uses as well and vacant units
for each survey year. Points to note:
Number of units occupied for retail (comparison and convenience)
purposes increased steadily from 2002, reaching a peak of 56% in
There has been a decline since 2006 in units occupied for retail
purposes, falling to 49% in 2008
Number of units occupied for non-retail purposes remained fairly
constant at around 40% until 2006
Since 2006 the number of units occupied for non-retail purposes
has increased to 44% in 2008
The difference between the proportion of units occupied for retail
and non-retail units has decreased from 16% in 2002 to just 5% in
3 Vacancy rates are an important indicator of Town Centre Health. Figure 1
shows that the number of vacant units has remained low until 2006 but
there has been a marked increase in recent years.
Approximately 3% (5 units) of ground floor properties between 2004
and 2006 were vacant
The number of vacant units more than doubled by 2008 to 11 units
4 This increase in the number of vacant units has put Haddington slightly
above current UK average vacancy rate of 7% (Experian, 2009). This
figure would suggest that market demand is dropping within the town
centre, the likely cause of this being the downturn in the UK economy,
predicted to continue for some time. It should be noted that whilst vacant
units do reduce the appeal of the town centre, current vacant units are
spread throughout the town centre and are in relatively good repair.
5 The number of charity shops, often seen as a gauge of the vitality of a
retailing area, has increased by just one unit since 2002 from four to five
units, representing around 3% unit occupation.
6 Figure 2 below shows a breakdown of units occupied by retail into
comparison (non-food) and convenience (food) retail units as percentage
of all ground floor units in Haddington town centre.
Breakdown of Comparsion and Convenience Retail
2002 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Figure 2: Breakdown of Comparison and Convenience Retail 2002 - 2008
Points to note:
With the exception of 2006 the proportion of comparison retail has
declined steadily throughout the survey period from 42% in 2002 to
34% in 2008
The proportion of convenience retail peaked at 20% in 2006,
however since this time it has declined slightly to 15% in 2008
Throughout the survey period, the proportion of comparison retail
has declined whilst the proportion of convenience retail has
increased slightly since 2002.
Sphere of Influence
7 As part of the retail survey the sphere of influence of each occupied unit is
categorised into either local, sub-local, regional or district.
The sphere of influence of retail units in Haddington Town Centre in 2008
is shown in the table below.
Sphere of Influence 2008
% of Units
Local Sub-regional Regional District
Sphere of Influence
Figure 3: Sphere of Influence of Units 2008
Points to note:
Over 60% of units are classified as local
Approximately 30% are classed as sub-regional and regional
Approximately 3% are classed as district
8 Whilst the majority of units are classified as having a local sphere of
influence, thus generally restricted to local custom, almost a third are
classed as sub-regional and regional attracting custom from out with the
immediate local area with implication for tourist visits and
9 N.B Figures shown are limited to 2008 as the sphere of all units was
reviewed at this time. Whilst the sphere of influence is a useful indicator in
determining the attraction of the units in the town centre to both the local
and regional populations, some caution should be taken when drawing any
strong conclusions from these results as opinions of surveyors can vary.
Shop Frontage Quality
10 As part of the retail survey individual shop frontages are graded into three
categories – good, fair and poor. The grading of quality of relates the
understanding that the town centre is within Haddington Conservation
Area. The aesthetic quality of each shop unit is measured in terms of its
‘traditional look’, state of repair and overall contribution to the environment
of the Conservation Area.
11 Figure 4 below shows the percentage of shop frontages and their grading
throughout the survey period.
2002 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Figure 4: Frontage Quality
12 Figure 4 shows that despite some fluctuations the quality of shop fronts
has remained of a relatively high standard throughout the survey period. In
general, the shop fronts are very good compared to other main centres in
Points to note:
An average of just under two thirds of shop frontages have been
graded as good throughout the survey period
An average of one third have been graded as fair
The remainder (approximately 4%) were graded as poor
13 An analysis of Town Centre Retail Surveys carried out by East Lothian
Council since 2002 shows a great degree of consistency and a number of
trends emerging, allowing the following broad conclusions to be drawn:
There has been a small decrease in the proportion of units occupied for
There has been a small increase in the proportion of units used for
The difference between the proportion of units occupied for retail and
non-retail purposes has decreased to the point where it is now almost
Throughout the survey period the proportion of comparison retail has
declined whilst the proportion of convenience retail has increased
The been a sharp increase in the number of vacant units in the town
centre since 2006, reaching 7% (11 units) in 2008
The number of charity shops has remained low, raising by just one unit
during the survey period
In 2008 60% of units have classified as having a local sphere of
influence, whilst almost a third were classed as sub-regional and
The quality of shop fronts has remained high during the survey period
with an average of almost two thirds being classed as good
Buildings at Risk and in Poor Condition
The following buildings are at risk in Haddington town centre:
18-20 Market Street (the former ‘Courier’ building) - vacant
Old warehouse and bank at Lodge Street/High Street (the buildings
proposed for the John Gray Centre) – part vacant
The George Hotel – not trading
5-8 Kilpair Street - vacant
The Council has identified the following groups of buildings as priorities for
repair and enhancement:
East High Street: George Hotel and 92 High Street former Jackson’s
Jewellers: vacant buildings
South East High Street: 8-15 High Street – shops include Paul’s Fish
Shop; Toy Box, Mason’s; TV shop and Dino’s
Mid High Street: 68-72 High Street – shops include Greggs, Fabrication
and Cancer Research
West High Street: 57-60 and 46-47 High Street – businesses include
The Pantry; Dillon’s and Allied Property/ Chalmers & Co
East End: 5-8 Kilpair street – vacant buildings; 5-9 Market Street –
businesses include vacant office and Conservative Club
Mid Market Street: 28-38 Market Street – businesses include Ivory;
Kesley’s; Wm Lawrie; vacant unit; Solicitors and the Kilspindie House
All these buildings are identified on Map 2 Buildings at Risk and Priority Areas
Analysis of Haddington Town Centre – SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats)
Fair overall range and quality of retailing
Good proportion of convenience floorspace
Town centre supermarket brings people in to the centre to shop
Convenience shops trade well
Fine historic townscape – one of the best in Scotland
Administrative centre that supports local retail trade and demand for
non retail services
Most retail units are in a good external condition
Specialist niche shopping and monthly Farmers’ Market attract visitors
and higher spending shoppers
Low vacancy rates
Range of community facilities to suit all ages and types
Extensive CCTV coverage
Compact with good pedestrian links
Town centre car parks
Edge of centre Aldi supermarket adds to choice
Low multiple retailer representation
Small shop units, which are a disadvantage in terms of meeting
multiple retailer requirements
Limited mainly local / independent retailer demand
Parking demand high at some locations
Traffic circulation and some junctions
Several buildings at risk; vacant and/or requiring significant repair and
enhancement bringing down the overall quality of the town centre.
Town centre footways require re-laid in places, do not use high quality
materials and are narrow in places
Future housing expansion will bring a growing population
Enhancement of selected buildings and spaces/streets within the public
areas of the centre to improve its overall quality and increase its visitor
Proposed John Gray Centre will attract people into the centre
Two small development sites in town centre could add new residents
and modern ground floor commercial space
Attraction of more quality and speciality independent retailers
Possible relocation of existing Tesco supermarket away from town
Other out of centre supermarket development proposals could lead to
competition with the town centre
Reduction in footfall in the town centre impacts on viability of existing
retail and commercial services
Vulnerable to any weakening of retailer demand in face of economic
Increasing competition from major shopping centres at Edinburgh
High costs of maintaining historic buildings, leading to possible further
Growth places additional pressure on the town centre