East Lothian Council’s Planning Committee met remotely on Tuesday 2nd May and considered a number of applications.

An application for two agricultural sheds at East Fortune Farm, Athelstaneford, was granted. It had been called off the Scheme of Delegation by Councillor Findlay due to the number of objections. The committee heard that the applicant was having to vacate rented buildings so needed to construct new buildings on their land for storage of straw, hay, machinery and feedstuffs. A total of 59 objections were received, raising concerns about the potential detrimental effect on the landscape and a loss of privacy and property values. Planners had recommended approval of the application and assessed that the design and layout of the buildings would not be detrimental to the surrounding area.

Concerns were also raised about the possibility of East Links Family Farm being re-located on the site, for which a Pre Application Notice has been submitted. However, committee heard from the applicant that the buildings would provide greater safety, security and efficiency, and would improve her farming business at East Fortune. Committee members voted nine to one to approve the application.

Planning committee approved opening hours for a car park on the Hopes Estate, Yester, Gifford. At the previous meeting in March, Planning Committee had agreed to continue the application to allow time for planners to negotiate opening times for the car park with the applicant. No agreement had been reached so the condition required to return to Planning Committee for a decision. The applicant had originally suggested that the car park would be open to those who collected a permit from the newsagent in Gifford between the hours of 9am to 6pm four days a week, with the car park being closed on Friday, Saturday & Monday. At the meeting on Tuesday, their new proposal was to open to permit holders from 8am to 7pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 1st February to 30th November and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 1st December to 13st January unless required by Scottish Water. The applicant stated that at other times, the car park was required for sheep management and tick treatment. Members voted seven to four to approve the condition.

Planning permission for the construction of 27 flats on land south of the St Andrews Centre, Dunbar, was unanimously approved. Committee had resolved to grant permission for the development at its meeting on 5th October 2021 but the application had to be reassessed against the new National Planning Framework 4, adopted by Scottish Ministers on 13th February 2023. The application met the new NPF4 requirements with the addition of provision of public art. Financial contributions of £70,173 to increase education capacity at Dunbar Primary School (John Muir campus); £31,131 for the primary school’s Lochend Campus and £26,730 for Dunbar Grammar School were also agreed.

Retrospective permission was unanimously granted for two storage containers for a sports training facility at Hallhill Healthy Living Centre, Dunbar, for a temporary period of 36 months to allow the applicants time to secure a permanent location for the facility. It was called off the Scheme of Delegation List by Councillor Collins to allow for fair discussion and comments. The applicant, Team East Lothian AC, an athletics charity, stated the structures were required for storage of weights, fitness machines and strength and conditioning training activities, under the canopied area, for Team East Lothian. Four letters of objection had been received stating concerns about the potential detrimental visual impact on the surrounding area.

Consent was granted for construction of an agricultural building on Seton East Steading, Longniddry. It was called off the Scheme of Delegation list by Councillor Ritchie due to local concern over the potential visual impact. The building would be used for storage for the agricultural holding and would measure 30 by 24 metres and 9 metres in height. One objection had been received, which claimed there would be a detrimental impact on neighbouring residential properties. Committee members voted unanimously to approve the application.

Unanimous approval was given to an application for planning permission in principle for a converter station and buried cabling for a Scottish Power subsea high voltage link on land adjacent to Dunbar Landfill site at Thorntonloch. The applicant, SP Energy Networks, stated that the development was required to increase the capability of the network to transport green energy from its source to households. There is significant offshore wind generation off the east coast of Scotland. The new subsea high voltage direct current link between East Lothian and County Durham would enable large volumes of renewable energy generated in Scotland to be transmitted to England whilst ensuring Scotland remains supported by a secure and stable supply of energy. There were two objections and four comments submitted.

Consent was granted for the construction of 90 houses and 51 flats at Longniddry Farm by Cruden Homes. The application forms part of the wider Longniddry South site, which has planning permission for a total of 450 houses, some of which are already completed. The Cruden Homes development would include more than the required percentage of affordable units, providing 19 affordable houses and 29 flats. Four objections had been received, raising concerns about the potential pressure on local infrastructure and the height of some of the buildings. Committee members voted unanimously to approve the application.

The relevant application numbers are: East Fortune, 23/00072/P; Hopes Estate, Gifford, 23/00059/P; St Andrews Centre, Dunbar, 20/00939/P; Hallhill, 22/01380/P; Seton East Steading, 22/01323/P; Thorntonloch, 22/00852/PPM and Longniddry Farm, 22/00732/AMM.

Published: Tuesday, 2nd May 2023