THE proposed site for East Lothian’s new crematorium has been confirmed as Alderston House, on the outskirts of Haddington.

The 18th century B-listed mansion, on the north-western edge of the town, has been on sale for two years, with a guide price of offers over £825,000.

It had been used previously as local authority offices by East Lothian Council.

The Courier understands that a bid to buy the property is on the table but is subject to planning permission.

An agent for the potential purchaser, who has not been identified, confirmed that they intended to soon lodge a planning application for a change of use to a crematorium.

The mansion is set in about 5.4 acres of land and has been used in the past as council offices, a convalescence home and a nurses training centre.

Plans to build a crematorium at Alderston House first surfaced nearly 17 years ago when an application to build a crematorium and garden of remembrance on the fields surrounding the house was approved by East Lothian Council.

This time, it is believed the house itself could be converted to accommodate cremations.

The house was formerly known as Alderston Convalescence Home, which was founded by the Scottish Rural Workers Friendly Society to serve its members throughout Scotland, from 1930.

In 1948 it became part of the Board of Management of East Lothian Hospitals after it was sold to the NHS and bought by the then Lothian Regional Council in 1975 for use as offices.

Ward councillor and county Provost Ludovic Broun-Lindsay said that a crematorium was long overdue for people in East Lothian, but declined to comment on the proposed site.

He said: “East Lothian deserves its own centre. For grieving relatives, trekking all the way into Edinburgh is a long haul, especially the further east you live.” The move to convert Alderston House is similar to recent plans in Berwickshire, with speculation that figures from that development could be involved in the planned Alderston House project.

Five years ago, permission was given to a firm to convert Houndwood Church, near Grantshouse, Berwickshire, into a crematorium.

Plans by West Park Properties to convert the 170-year-old listed building, which has been sitting empty for a decade, were approved by Scottish Borders Council.

However, the project is understood to have been delayed, with developers going back to the council in December 2012, under the name Grantshouse Crematorium Limited, to ask the council to issue a Certificate of Lawfulness to support the original plans.