North Berwick holiday home plan is 'threat to birds and children', objectors say

Plans to extend a holiday cottage in a secluded seaside bay could endanger children and birds, objectors have claimed.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 12:30 pm

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The owner of The Chalet, one of a handful of dwellings at Canty Bay, North Berwick, wants to dig up his basement and extend it to create new views of the stunning coast.

However the plans have drawn 24 objections with claims the “dignity and privacy” of young children playing on the beach would be “abused” and that birds could be killed if they flew into the glazed extension. The area is a renowned haven for wildlife, particularly seabirds, which can often be left stunned or worse by flying into glazing.

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Stunning and secluded: Canty Bay. (Pic: cantybay.com)

East Lothian Council’s planners dismissed the concerns about the safety of children in a report which goes to their planning committee next week.

Canty Bay is accessed by a private road and has a few holiday houses dotted around it which are used as lets by the scouts and other groups.

Owners are not allowed to live permanently in the bay dwellings and have to vacate for one month a year, usually February.

The Chalet owners applied to excavate the basement of their single storey cottage which is partly submerged by a front garden and build a flat-roofed extension to it with a terrace.

Drawings of the extension show large glazed windows dominating the side of it.

Planning officers said they had received 24 public objections ranging from concern about the size of the extension, its impact on the visual look of the bay, dangers of birds flying into the glazing and safety of children.

However in a report to councillors, officers said: “It is unclear why an extension to a dwelling could result in child protection issues and safe guarding.

“Any matters relating to child protection should be raised with Police Scotland.”

The application has been called in to the committee for a decision by ward councillor Jim Goodfellow after officers recommended it for approval.

Councillor Goodfellow called in the application because “objectors feel strongly the change in footprint proposed and the increase in glazed area will have a significant effect on the intimate nature of the Bay and area”.

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