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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Marie Sharp

East Lothian Council urged to reject 'net zero' flats plan for coastal village

Plans to build a 'net zero' flat complex in place of a bungalow on the edge of a village conservation area have been criticised by the local community council.

Gullane Area Community Council has asked East Lothian Council to refuse planning permission for the flats, describing the new build as "over-dominant".

READ MORE: Work dismantling East Lothian 'eyesore' stand which became a landmark underway

The proposal by Edinburgh-based B&Y Developments Ltd, would see the bungalow on Gullane Main Street demolished and replaced by a passivhaus building containing four three-bedroom flats.

In a letter to the local authority the community council said that while it did not object to the idea of flats on the site, the current proposals were too big and it added the design appeared to include windows which were just one metre from neighbouring houses adding "It is hard to imagine this providing adequate lighting."

The proposals to replace the house known as Glen Maree with the flats aims to make it as sustainable as possible with its design statement describing the residential development as "net zero".

It will include electric car charging points at a private parking area to the rear of the property, solar panels and non fossil fuel heating systems.

The roof design has been created to ensure maximum solar exposure to support the flats and the design statement points out that easy access to public transport is also available to new residents of the flats.

It adds: "This development makes efficient use of land, buildings and infrastructure, by altering a previously developed plot of land in a town centre rather than a greenfield site on the town periphery, for example.

"Industry leading Scottish Cross laminated timber is to form the superstructure whilst Passivhaus principals of airtightness, heat recovery and solar gain are to be employed to create very efficient, low energy dwellings.

"We believe this strategy will result in a very energy efficient use of the plot with the four new apartments using less energy than the existing building.

"We intend to create an exemplar development that demonstrates sustainability without compromising design quality."

The design statement adds that the site itself is not in the Gullane Conservation area but "on the periphery" of it.

Despite plans to position the new building eight metres back from the Main Street pavement with a large front garden area, the community council said the design did not fit the site.

It said: "We have no issue with the general principle of creating flatted accommodation on the site.

"The particular choice of design, creating four substantial flats across three floors rather than the two of the neighbouring houses, does appear to be over-dominant in scale.

"Even if the building were able to be set slightly further back this effect could be diminished, but the site appears not to lend itself to this."

The application is available to view on the council planning portal.

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