A POTENTIAL housing development on the outskirts of Dirleton could still go ahead – despite a leading housebuilder pulling out.

CALA Management Ltd had been looking at a site at Castlemains Farm, sandwiched between the village and the A198, for more than a year.

But it confirmed this week it was “no longer proceeding with the site”.

That does not mean there are no further plans, though, with Edinburgh-based Queensberry Properties Ltd now looking at the site and lodging a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) with East Lothian Council late last month.

The early plans outline an intention to develop on the site, with the developers having already contacted Gullane Area Community Council (GACC), which covers the village, and Dirleton Village Association (DVA).

Ward councillors Jeremy Findlay, Jane Henderson and Jim Goodfellow have also been contacted, with plans for a one-day exhibition in the Open Arms on September 7.

It is not yet known how many houses could be built on the site, although CALA Management Ltd’s proposals were for 36 new homes.

Fraser Lynes, of Queensberry Properties, said: “Queensberry Properties are delighted to start the planning application process for this exciting opportunity in Dirleton.

“This will be Queensberry’s first development in East Lothian and we look forward to presenting our proposals at the upcoming community exhibition in September.”

CALA first lodged plans with the local authority in February last year.

A public exhibition was held the following month before more detailed plans, showing 32 homes and four flats, were sent in to East Lothian Council’s planning department.

Those proposals are still listed as “awaiting decision”, but a CALA spokesman said they had now been withdrawn.

Part of the planning application was a design and access statement which noted: “We recognise that Dirleton’s settlement pattern was significantly altered with the introduction of the Dirleton bypass in 1975 – and that, as a result, the Castlemains site, now essentially landlocked, is more of a part of the village context than the open countryside.”

Tom Drysdale, vice-chairman of GACC, told the Courier the group was waiting to find out if there were any alterations to the plans. He said: “It’s fair to say we are in the dark just now.”

DVA has approached Tony Thomas, who was the agent for the CALA application and now the Queensberry application as well, with a view to finding out more.

The new developers have been invited to DVA’s next meeting, which takes place on August 17.