Dirleton is a conservation village.
The village was designated as a conservation area in 1969 and the area was extended to include a significant area of surrounding land in 1979.
You can download a copy of the Conservation Area map at Dirleton-Conservation-Area-Map.pdf.
The character of the conservation area is set out in a character statement published by East Lothian Council.
A copy of this statement can be seen here.
Within this and other conservation areas special attention must be paid to development proposals. The extent of development that can be carried out in conservation areas without planning permission is more limited than it is in other areas, and permission can be needed for relatively minor work, such as replacing windows and changing the colour of a building, and for work relating to garages, garden sheds, oil storage tanks, porches, rooflights, walls, and fences.
Along with the Gullane Area Community Council, the Dirleton Village Association regularly monitors planning applications relating to properties in and around the village. It will normally only make representations about applications to East Lothian Council if it is considered that they will adversely affect the character of the village. The Association also monitors the control of development throughout the local authority area under the local development plan
Click the following link for DVA_sustainability_policy_Final.pdf
Current Planning Issues
18/00624/P A proposal to build two large dwellinghouses on woodland adjacent to the Archerfield East Lodge was submitted to the Council in March 2019 by Caledonian Heritable Ltd, the owners of that woodland area, as part of a complex planning application relating to a number of new facilities at Archerfield Links. The DVA committee and the Community Council submitted objections in respect of the two plots (but not to the other elements within the application). The Council’s decision on the application is still awaited.
19/00903/LBC, 19/00895/P and 21/01382/P Planning permission and listed building consent were granted in September 2020 for the development of three houses in the Newmains steading area. Conversion of the original stone steading building to a dwellinghouse, and extension of the cottage to the east to form a second dwellinghouse commenced in 2001 but currently appear to be suspended. Construction works are yet to commence of the third dwellinghouse to be built in the wooded area on the western part of the site, which incorporates the ruin of the brick built former cow byre. The permission is subject to conditions still to be met by the developer, including the planting of trees on the open area of grassland fenced in to the west of the site.
In 2019 the owners of the Newmains site blocked up the walking/cycling/horse riding route through the site, although the whole of the route between Ware Road and the John Muir Way to the west has now been officially recognised by the Council and the Scottish Rights of Way Society (Scotways) as a public right of way. The Council have the power to vary public rights of way, subject to certain fairly complex statutory provisions.
The Newmains planning permission provides that, unless otherwise agreed by the Council, no development on the site is to take place unless and until an alternative route for the public right of way round the north of the site, as proposed by the developers, has been formed and made available for use. This route follows the outside of a new fence which the developers have recently erected on the north and west sides of the site, which is hard bottomed and 1.3 metres in width, which may not be sufficiently wide for cyclists and certainly won’t be for riders on horseback. The DVA has engaged with the Council regarding the detailed arrangements for the diversion and the replacement of the public path signs which were removed unlawfully and this is an ongoing issue.
20/00229/P The Council granted planning permission for the development of a riding centre, including stabling for up to eight horses and a large exercise arena, on part of the field to the west of the lane at the bottom of Manse Road. These facilities are however only to be used in association with the residential use of Auburn House (see below) and at no time for business or commercial purposes. The floodlighting, which was to have served the exercise arena, has not been permitted. The development appears to be substantially complete.
21/00025/P and 21/00034/LBC In March 2022 planning and listed building consent were given for the restoration and extension of Auburn House, the old schoolmaster’s house at the foot of the Church Green, and the erection of two holiday apartments and garaging on Manse Road, on the site of the former laundry/picture gallery. The DVA submitted extensive comments on the applications mainly regarding the architectural design of the holiday apartments but the planning officer did not take these on board. Works have commenced on site. See details above for the Equestrian centre off Manse Road.
18/00016/PM Planning permission was granted in September 2019 for a development of 32 houses and 4 flats on the field to the south of Castlemains Place, at the east end of the village. This was obtained on appeal to the Scottish government against refusal by East Lothian Council and against strong opposition on the part of the DVA and the Community Council. MNM Developments commenced construction in 2022 and the first residents are due to move in March 2023.
20/00882/CAC and 20/00881/P East Lothian Housing Association has received planning and conservation area consent for a development of two blocks of flats as affordable housing (4 flats in all) on Castlemains Place, at the east end of the village and adjacent to the new housing development (see above), to replace the two redundant workshops there. While the DVA committee was supportive of the provision of more affordable housing in the village, it considered that this development would be insensitive and inconsistent with the provisions of the Local Development Plan and the Dirleton conservation area character statement. They objected unsuccessfully to both applications on these grounds. The property has since been sold toR3 Repairs (See below).
22/01050/P Change of use and alterations to workshops to form 2 houses at 17/18 Castlemains Place. Application by R3 Repairs for two semi-detached houses on the same footprint is under consideration. The DVA supported this application as a better outcome to the consented development (see above).
21/01364/P Erection of 1 house with integral garage and associated works on land to the rear of Speedwell House. The application was refused on various grounds raised in the DVA’s objection.
23/00179/P Live application by The Renaissance Club to fell a copse of trees within Broad Wood to form a hardstanding area upon which a media centre can be sited during the Scottish Open, which is to be held there until 2026. The DVA has submitted a letter of objection on the grounds that the proposal is in contradiction to East Lothian Council’s climate change strategy.
23/00203/P Live application by The Renaissance Club to construct 6 “cottages” for visitor accommodation. Each cottage would accommodate up to 16 guests in 8 double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and parking for four vehicles. To enable the construction works will require felling of c.94 trees. The application will vary the consented development 19/00087/P for 10 cabins and 6 cottages by moving the row of cottages east where the last cottage will fall within Dirleton Conservation Area. The DVA has submitted a letter of objection on the grounds that the proposal is in contradiction to East Lothian Council’s climate change strategy.