PROPOSALS that could see a cliff-top cafe built on the outskirts of North Berwick were given a largely positive response from the town’s community councillors.

Ambitious plans for a cafe with views overlooking the Bass Rock and Craigleith have been submitted to East Lothian Council by Stuart and Jo McNicol, of Castleton Farm.

The proposals, if given approval by planners, could see Castleton Farm Coffeehouse based in three shipping containers and cater for 40 covers on cliffs between Glen Golf Club and Canty Bay.

Mr McNicol and Tony Thomas, from East Linton’s APT Planning and Development, attended a meeting of North Berwick Community Council (NBCC) this month, where members discussed the application.

Peter Hamilton, NBCC member, hailed the proposals as “fantastic”, while Ian Watson said: “It is not in the middle of a view, which is good” – in reference to plans submitted by businessman Stirling Stewart for a cafe at the West Bay beachfront, which were refused by East Lothian Council.

In response to Mr Watson’s comment, Mr McNicol said: “We would hope to bring people to the coffeehouse and show off the view of the Bass Rock and Craigleith.”

Other members were, though, concerned about access to the cafe, which would come from an existing gate off the A198, with a provision for 21 car parking spaces – three disabled – in the application.

Mr McNicol said: “We could get 21 people all pitching up in cars on their own – we cannot control that.

“We will be trying to make sure that people who are using the car park are customers only but we may need an overflow space.”

Mr Thomas added: “There is land to do that and we have said previously that we can look at this if necessary.”

In June, Mr McNicol attended a community council meeting where it was revealed that the plan was for the cafe to be open seven days a week, with opening hours between 9.30am and 6pm.

Home baking would be provided by Mrs McNicol while there are no plans at the moment for a drinks licence.

At that meeting, he said: “It is a well-trodden route to Tantallon Castle. Whether it is buses, walking or cycling, there is no facility there.

“Having another destination would encourage walking and healthy living.”

Meanwhile, Hilary Smith, NBCC chairwoman, was pleased with the environmentally-friendly nature of the business.

And at the most recent meeting, she said: “I was on a site visit there and it was really encouraging to hear that if they do not want to do this in 15-20 years’ time, it is all removable.”

Mr Thomas also revealed that the cutlery used would be biodegradable.