Glamping pods near historic East Lothian castle get thumbs-up from planners

Glamping pods on the site of an historic battlefield have been given the go-ahead, despite concerns they could be used for stag parties.
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Plans from applicant Bridget Meenan to introduce the holiday accommodation on agricultural land to the north-east of historic Fa’side Castle, near Tranent, have been approved by East Lothian Council planners.

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However, conditions will be introduced to ensure no one lives in them for longer than 28 days at a time, with a ban on returning within two months.

Stunning and historic: Fa'side CastleStunning and historic: Fa'side Castle
Stunning and historic: Fa'side Castle

The four pods, which come with their own parking space and decking, will be based to the north east of the Category B listed castle next to stable buildings.

A report by planning officers says the land used for the pods is on the historic Battle of Pinkie site, which is included in Historic Environment Scotland’s Inventory of Historic Battlefields.

However, Historic Environment Scotland did not raise any objection to its use for the glamping pods and a static caravan to act as an office/storage space.

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Fa’side Castle is a 15th-century keep which was set alight by the English ahead of the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547, killing those inside.

The site of the Battle of PinkieThe site of the Battle of Pinkie
The site of the Battle of Pinkie

In 1567, it was used by Mary Queen of Scots on her way to the Battle of Carberry Hill as a stopping point and is where the doomed Scottish monarch spent her last night of freedom before her final execution on the orders of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1587.

It was restored in the 1980s and listed as a Category B building.

Two local objections were raised with concerns about safe access to the site, impact on the surroundings and the use of pods for stag/hen parties and potential spread to the stables.

However, a report by planning officers said the use of the pods was not a planning consideration.They said: “The nature of the occupation of the pods is not a planning consideration and is a matter for the applicant in their operation of the pods.”

Conditions attached to the site include only allowing people to stay for a maximum of 28 days with a two-month gap before they can return.

And it said that site managers had to keep a complete record of who stayed and for how long, which would be available for inspection at any time.

The condition is aimed at ensuring the pods cannot become permanent residential accommodation.

Additional conditions include maintaining tree lines which shelter the pods from the main road and using low lighting to reduce night light pollution in the rural area.

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