Local developer gifts 34 acres of land to local Community

12/03/2024
Ken Ross (left, CEO at Hallhill Developments) marks the handing over of more than 100 acres of woodland from Hallhill Developments to local community trustee Norman Hampshire (right). Pictured with the tile deeds (in a scroll), on the pitch at the adjoining Dunbar Rugby Club. (Photo: Colin Hattersley / Orbit Communications)

SCOTTISH developer Ken Ross, CEO of Hallhill Developments (HDL), is continuing to support the community of Dunbar by gifting 34 acres of land to the Dunbar Community Development & Heritage Trust (Trust) in a partnership with the local council and local community.

The land has been symbolically presented to the Trust for the sum of £1 and was accepted by Trust Chairman Norman Hampshire. This brings the total land gifted by the company over the last few years to the local community up to almost 100 acres.

The Trust plan to create a quality path network, a woodland classroom for local schools, a children’s play area, and a football pitch and changing rooms. Other exciting plans, subject to approval, include a skate park and pump track, and a community café. A Woodland Management Plan will also be developed to benefit the community of Dunbar and its local wildlife.

As part of its commitment to the local community and reflecting its sustainable values, in addition to the land gifted today, HDL previously gifted 15 acres of land which now hosts the Healthy Living Centre. This is a community sports hub with excellent facilities and is home to most of the community sports clubs in the town.

Land was also provided to East Lothian Council at a subsidised cost to deliver the primary school. In addition, over 50 acres of woodland has previously been gifted by HDL to the Trust, which is managed by Lochend Community Woodland Trust for the use of the community.

Ken Ross is passionate about creating healthy environments for people to live, work and play. His team, together with East Lothian Council, the Trust and others, incorporate active travel, safe routes to school together with access to open space and woodland areas to encourage and facilitate healthier lifestyles in their developments.

Hallhill Developments has been involved in the Dunbar area for over 30 years. An independent economic assessment in 2018 by Mackay Consulting identified that more than 600 jobs have been created in the area. To date, over £40m is now being contributed to the local economy every year at Hallhill and 1,700 homes have been built or are under construction in the area.

Since the inception of Hallhill, the population of Dunbar has increased from around 8,500 to circa 14,400, facilitating the delivery of education, road infrastructure and sporting facilities for the town.

Ken Ross, Director of Hallhill Developments, said:

“Hallhill is now an area where people want to work, live, and play. Creating sustainable developments that will help to address climate change and the wider healthy living needs of the community is extremely important and is part of the wider vision of Hallhill Developments. This land is a gift to the local community of Dunbar, via the Trust. We want to see local people having access to this land and utilising it for a variety of active lifestyle purposes. I’m delighted with the plans the Trust have for the land.”

Norman Hampshire, East Lothian Council Leader and Chair of the Dunbar Community Development & Heritage Trust commented:

“I am delighted on behalf of the Trust to accept this further gift of land for the people of Dunbar. This project is a perfect example of how a partnership of the Community, Council and a developer can work together to create a strong sustainable community. The Community will produce a Woodland Management Plan to improve the woodland for the benefit of the Dunbar community and its wildlife. We will have a quality path network and a woodland classroom that will be an asset for the school. The open space area in the middle of the woodland already has planning consent for a football pitch and changing rooms, along with a children’s play area. The Trust have applied to also deliver a skate park and pump track, along with a community café alongside the football pitch. This will complete one of the best community sports and recreation facilities in Scotland.”

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