East Lothian Council’s Planning Committee met remotely on Tuesday 30th March and considered a number of applications.
Councillors agreed unanimously to the first application on the agenda, which was for changes to house types on a development at Saltcoats Field, Gullane – a site which already has planning permission for a major housing development. There would be no change to the number of homes on the site.
The second application related to Papple steading, near Garvald. Planners had recommended approval of a development which involved alterations and extensions to agricultural buildings and erection of buildings to form a shop, visitor & conference centre, auditorium, café, bar, offices and meeting rooms as well as six self-contained holiday lets and letting bedrooms. Objections had been received to the application, raising concerns about issues including the potential increase in traffic and the scale of the proposals being out of keeping with the rural character of the area. There was support for the application too including the fact a B-listed building would be restored as part of the plans.
Councillors voted nine to one to approve the plans with additional conditions including improved local road signage, the installation of passing places, approval by the planning authority in advance of any outside lighting being installed and a time limit of two years on the use of amplified music within the auditorium to allow the authority to monitor the noise impact.
The committee also considered an application for the extension of a house at Sandersons Grove, Tranent, which would increase the size of the property from three to six bedrooms. Six letters of objection had been received raising concerns including the size of the extension, potential overshadowing of neighbouring properties and the potential impact on on-street parking. Councillors voted unanimously to refuse permission as the plans were considered to be an over-development of the site and they were concerned about the unacceptable impact on a neighbouring property.
Another application related to the Assembly Rooms, Church Street, Dunbar and sought permission for four flats in the ground floor and attic space of the building. There are already three flats at basement level but the rest of the building has been unoccupied for 30 years and it has been on the Buildings At Risk Register for Scotland since 1992. Planners had recommended that planning permission be granted. Committee members discussed concerns, including the non-provision of parking for the flats. Permission was refused in a seven to four vote due to concerns about raising the roof height and potential congestion problems due to the absence of parking spaces.
The final application related to Whittingehame House, Stenton, which was converted into apartments in 1998. When Listed Building consent was granted for alterations in 2018, a condition stated that a service staircase in Apartment 2, the West Wing, could not be removed to preserve the character, special interest and social history of the building. This latest application sought that the condition be lifted to allow for removal of the internal staircase. Planners had recommended refusal of the application on the advice of Historic Environment Scotland. However councillors discussed the issue and agreed unanimously that as the staircase was a later addition to the building and did not have the same architectural importance as an original feature, it should be removed to allow the family to make essential alterations to their home. Listed building consent was granted.
The relevant application numbers are: Gullane, 20/01430/PM and 18/01366/AMM; Papple Steading 20/01224/P; Tranent, 20/01388/P; Dunbar, 20/01413/P and Whittingehame, 20/01348/P.