Members of East Lothian Planning Committee met on Tuesday 7 November to decide on four applications relating to North Berwick, Dunbar, Wallyford and Musselburgh.

Committee members voted seven votes to four to refuse permission for an extension to the Seabird Centre in North Berwick. Planners had determined that the potential economic benefit from the centre expanding to become a National Marine Centre did not outweigh the potential detrimental effect on the North Berwick Conservation Area. They also stated that it would be an overdevelopment of the site which would appear harmfully overbearing, dominant, intrusive and exposed within its landscape setting. The plans also went against seven local planning policies as well as national guidelines on development within a conservation area. Their recommendation for refusal was upheld by the committee. The council received 568 representations on the plans, 353 of which objected to the plans.

Members voted against planners’ recommendation to refuse permission in principle for a housing development and cemetery at Newtonlees Farm, Dunbar. Planners had stated that a five year supply of housing land had already been demonstrated so this development was not required to meet East Lothian’s national housing supply commitments. They also had concerns about the development not being integrated into its setting and that it had not been demonstrated that the cemetery would have no adverse impacts on groundwater. But after a vote, the application was approved by committee.

Committee members then moved on to approve plans for 245 houses on land to the southwest of Wallyford. The land is part of the wider site north of the A1 where work has already started on construction. Up to 1450 residential homes will eventually be built on the wider development site. The construction of 245 houses was approved with a number of conditions, including that access roads, parking spaces and footpaths will be completed before occupation of the last house on the site.

The final item was an extension for three years of planning permission for a care home on the Inveresk Road site in Musselburgh which has been redeveloped in recent years to include a new Tesco store and Primary Healthcare facility. Permission was recently granted for a residential development on part of the site but no plans have yet been brought forward for a care facility. Outline planning permission for a care facility was extended up to 25 September 2020.

The main relevant application numbers are: North Berwick, 17/00434/P; Dunbar, 17/00020/PPM; Wallyford, 17/00432/AMM and 14/00903/PPM and Musselburgh, 17/00839/PCL and 06/00770/OUT.

Published: Wednesday, 8th November 2017