UP TO 15 new jobs could be created in North Berwick if a national coffee shop chain’s plans to come to the town are approved – with proposals for the new cafe to stay open till 11pm each day.

Plans have been submitted to East Lothian Council for a change of use of 17 Market Place from a retail unit (class one) to a food and drink outlet (class three).

The application also reveals that the McNeill’s Carpets and Flooring shop would be “occupied by a national coffee shop operator”, which the Courier understands to be Costa Coffee.

Costa currently has two coffee shops in East Lothian – on Musselburgh High Street and in Tesco in Haddington.

At the weekend, the company confirmed online that it was looking to open in North Berwick.

If the proposals are approved by East Lothian Council, up to 15 “full-time equivalent” jobs are likely to be created at the coffee shop, which would be open between 6am and 11pm daily.

The application, submitted by D2 Planning Ltd on behalf of London and Cambridge Properties Ltd, also reveals why the current tenants plan to move out of the premises.

It adds: “The current retailer is vacating the property as they have found it increasingly difficult to trade from what is essentially a secondary retail pitch.

“The marketing demonstrates that the only real interest to occupy the premises is from a national coffee shop operator.”

If the plans get the green light, it could see Market Place transformed, with a dentists surgery set to occupy the former Semi Chem building, while an application for a change of use for the current Greens and Blues art gallery next door to potentially become a nail bar and tanning salon was discussed at a meeting of North Berwick Community Council (NBCC) earlier this month.

That application – separate to Costa’s submission – is for a change of use from retail to office space, which drew concerns from NBCC members.

The community council is yet to comment on Costa’s plans.

Carlene Macnair, chairwoman of North Berwick Business Association, said that Costa would be a “welcome addition to the town centre”.

She added: “We would welcome any business that will bring jobs to the town.”