East Lothian homes and ash lagoons planning applications approved

Planning applications for 68 homes at Dunbar and works at three Ash Lagoons at Levenhall Links have been given the green light by East Lothian Council.

Councillors on the local authority’s planning committee heard that the site south of Dunbar’s Brodie Road had previously been earmarked for a hotel, but this had been provided elsewhere in the town.

The application from Persimmon sought to provide 68 detached, semi-detached and terraced houses with associated access roads, parking, landscaping and a sustainable drainage system. A total of 17 houses will be affordable, with ten of these available for low cost home ownership. The overall number of houses is a reduction from 73 houses and eight flats that were originally put forward by the developer when the application was submitted.

Members unanimously approved the application with a number of conditions. These included financial contributions of £667,080 that will be put towards additional capacity and facilities at Dunbar Primary Upper and Lower Schools, provision of off-site sporting facilities, an active travel corridor from Dunbar to Musselburgh and transport improvements across the county. It was noted in the meeting that discussions are underway to enable public transport access to Brodie Road, which is not currently served.

The second application focused on the restoration of Ash Lagoons 6 and 8, and regrading of Lagoon 7, at Levenhall Links in Musselburgh. The Ash Lagoons were created from the disposal of pulverised fuel ash (pfa) created from the former Cockenzie Power Station. The whole site is a Scottish Wildlife Trust Listed Wildlife Site with Lagoon 8 being part of the Firth of Forth Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Restoration has already been carried out on all other lagoons on the site to provide a diverse environment for nature and a valuable open space for public use. Following the successful capping and restoration, these have now been transferred into council ownership under agreement with the owners, ScottishPower Generation. Lagoons 6 and 8 are the last two remaining in ScottishPower’s ownership.

Lagoon 8 will be landscaped to create wetland and roosting areas, a moat, paths and accessible bird hides while Lagoon 6 will be infilled to provide a natural habitat for birds and insects. The application also included plans to regrade the surface at Lagoon 7 to provide gentle slopes. The lagoons are subject to a Pollution Prevention and Control Permit (PPC), which SEPA is responsible for. Ownership of the sites will only be transferred once restoration works have been completed and SEPA is satisfied that any necessary pollution prevention and control measures are in place.

Planning officials noted that the works, once completed, would contribute positively to the landscape, biodiversity, recreation and amenity of the lagoons. The application was unanimously approved by the committee.

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