A FORMER guest house and home could be transformed into a children’s nursery to cope with Haddington’s booming population.

The Pear Tree Nursery, on Meadowpark, is looking to expand and plans have been submitted to change the former guest house at 1 West Road into a nursery.

Meetings between representatives of the nursery, which has been trading since 2007, and East Lothian Council have already taken place.

A supporting statement, which is being considered by the council’s planning department, notes East Lothian is the fastest growing council area in the country.

More than 800 new homes are being built at nearby Letham Mains, while houses are also being constructed at Dovecot, off Pencaitland Road, and at Gateside.

The report states: “Population projections up to and beyond 2020 show increased numbers within the 0-5-year-old grouping with significant increases in demand for early learning and childcare forecast, particularly in areas allocated for new housing developments, which Haddington is, with 10,500 new houses being built in the East Lothian area over 10 years.

“There is already a shortfall of local authority nursery places in Haddington as identified in the implementation plan and our existing nursery in Meadowpark is at full capacity with a long waiting list.”

If the plans get the go-ahead, it would not only allow more children to attend nursery in their hometown but also create up to 30 new jobs.

The document reads: “We would keep our existing nursery at Meadowpark.

“This expansion is to meet the demands being placed on our current service, the additional housing and the increased funded hours from 600 to 1,140 hours by 2020.”

The former guest house ceased trading in December 2016 and is now closed. The property has been on the market for the last two years, with no offers received and “no interest whatsoever” in purchasing it to use as a guest house or bed and breakfast.

The documents with East Lothian Council say that has “clearly demonstrated” that there is no demand for a guest house on the site at this time.

Currently the two-storey guest house building, opposite Letham Drive, has four upstairs guest bedrooms.

Downstairs it has a number of private and guest rooms, which would be changed if the plans got the go-ahead.

A number of playrooms would be created, with the private home to the rear of the property also undergoing a transformation, with another playroom created.

Upstairs in the guest house would also feature four playrooms, as well as a staffroom.

Finally, upstairs in the domestic house would see two further playrooms, as well as a toilet and a baby change area.