Naming East Lothian's New Town

Closed 4 Dec 2019

Opened 30 Oct 2019


We’re looking for your help in choosing a name for East Lothian’s new town. It will be located on a site near Tranent, Macmerry, Prestonpans, Longniddry and Cockenzie and Port Seton, close to the A1. The town will include new housing, a school, business space, shops, sports facilities and parks. The approved Local Development Plan also safeguarded land for a more significant potential expansion of the new settlement in due course.

The council’s vision is to see the new settlement develop into an exemplar community in which to live, work and play with mixed-tenure housing including affordable homes, first-class facilities and amenities, local employment opportunities, combined with a vibrant landscape. It presents opportunities for inward investment and job creation. It should be a zero emissions community embracing climate change objectives pushing construction and technology innovation and embracing blue green infrastructure and biodiversity. There is expected to be significant wider improvements to local infrastructure, which includes providing more choices for walking, cycling and travelling by public transport.

School pupils from around East Lothian were asked to compile a shortlist of names – either chosen from a long list based around themes including local farms, landscape features, people, events and waterbodies, or to put forward their own suggestions.

The name should have a local connection and convey a sense of place and optimism for the future.

A panel consisting of councillors and senior officials met to consider school responses submitted by 28 schools.

The panel determined that the most popular and suitable names were Charlestoun, Hattonfield, Hopetoun, Muirdale and Nethermuir. The panel also decided that the name Blindwells should be included on the shortlist of potential names for public consultation.

Place names in this part of Scotland are normally based on ‘Scots’. Such names normally consist of an affix that is used to describe the place, such as its location relative to local features or characteristics, combined with a single generic element, usually a noun, in either singular or plural form, with a linguistic relationship between each. These elements can then be put together to make a place name as a compound noun – e.g. ‘milton’ made up of Scots miln ‘mil’ and Scots ‘toun’.

Of the suggestions received, which form the basis of the public consultation, Charlestoun was suggested given the area’s links to Prince Charles Edward Stuart and the 1745 Battle of Prestonpans, which took place nearby. The name Hattonfield is derived from ‘Hatton’ as a name for a settlement. Hopetoun refers to a small, enclosed upland valley/hollow/bay and town. Muirdale is a reference to John Muir, the Dunbar-born conservationist, and ‘dale’ as a meadow. Similarly, Nethermuir is a reference to John Muir and ‘nether’ as a low-lying place. In old Scots, ‘muir’ also means place of rough grazing. In light of representations received, it was decided that Blindwells would be added to the shortlist. This refers to the name of the former open cast mine site.

You can express your preference by completing the online survey below. 


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