Plans for local agricultural machinery supplier, Thomas Sherriff & Co, to develop a new site in Haddington have been approved by East Lothian Council.
The company has operated from Mill Wynd since 1976 but the premises are becoming increasingly unsuitable for the needs of the modern agricultural engineering and turf business. A new site at Backburn, Letham Mains Road, will allow the company and its staff to continue working locally and offer opportunities for future expansion.
Sherriff’s relocation plans will be made possible by a proposal from leading private retirement developer, McCarthy & Stone, to redevelop the Mill Wynd site into a high quality private retirement development. The planning application, submitted to East Lothian Council in August 2013, is currently being considered.
McCarthy & Stone’s development will provide 49 homes for older people locally and are specifically designed for people over the age of 60. Key features of the homes include a 24 hour assistance system, a dedicated house manager, shared lounge, conservatory and guest accommodation and attractive landscaped gardens.
Delighted with their recent planning approval, John Winter, Sherriff’s Managing Director, said: “This is great news for our business and the community as we can keep the company and jobs local. New modern premises, which are designed for the agricultural and turf business, will better serve our suppliers and customers and also allow us to take on more staff in future if required. We look forward to the outcome of McCarthy & Stone’s application so we can start to progress our relocation plans, which we hope to have complete by Spring 2015.”
A joint consultation in summer 2013 revealed the majority of people supported Sherriff’s and McCarthy & Stone’s proposals and thought more retirement housing is needed in the local area. Three out of every four people thought retirement housing is a good use for the Mill Wynd site.
According to the 2011 Census there are 17,700 people in East Lothian over the age of 65 (18 per cent of the local population). McCarthy & Stone have already received nearly 80 enquiries about the proposed retirement development.
Steve Wiseman, Managing Director of McCarthy & Stone in Scotland explained: “We’ve been working closely with planning officials, following the submission of our application last year, to provide further supporting information. Our plans were informed by extensive consultation with neighbours and the local community and we believe it’s a good proposal that will provide much needed housing for older people. We look forward to the council making a decision shortly.”
If the McCarthy & Stone application is approved Thomas Sherriff and Co anticipate work starting at Letham Mains in Autumn 2014 with works estimated to be complete by Spring 2015. McCarthy & Stone would hope to start on site in summer 2015 with work estimated to be complete by summer 2016.