PROPOSED sites for housing on the outskirts of Wallyford, East Saltoun and Humbie have been rejected by a Scottish Government reporter following a review of East Lothian Council’s draft Local Development Plan.

The plan, which outlines how the county will grow and develop in the future, was sent to the reporter last year for approval, after nearly two years of public consultations and meetings to identify areas of growth and, in particular, preferred sites for housing developments.

The reporter examined the document and looked at 41 unresolved issues which had been raised by objectors to determine if any should be upheld.

But in the end the majority remained unchanged with only a few persuading the Reporter to overrule the council’s proposals.

His report orders the council to delete sites allocated for 170 homes at Howe Mire, Wallyford; 20 houses at Humbie; and 75 additional homes at East Saltoun. And it calls for one new site – at Newtonlees Farm, Dunbar – to be added into the plan after representations from Gladman Development Ltd.

Referring to the Howe Mire site, the reporter said he had taken into account its heritage as part of the Battle of Pinkie site and impact on Wallyford.

He said: “Development at this location would represent a significant incursion within the greenbelt, detract from the existing battlefield landscape and would have an adverse impact on the setting of Wallyford.”

In the case of Humbie and East Saltoun, the reporter said site visits had convinced him that these were “small rural villages with limited services”.

He dismissed suggestions in the case of East Saltoun that a new housing development would help sustain the number of pupils at the village’s school.

However, in the case of Newtonlees Farm, he noted a recent decision by the council’s planning committee to approve 115 homes and a cemetery at the site, despite it not being in the plan, and backed that decision.

called on it to be added into the Local Development Plan.

The site, which was not approved by officials has controversially already been given planning permission for the 115 homes and cemetery which the Report wants added in.

East Lothian Council’s planning committee approved an application from developers Gladman in November, despite concerns raised by the community.

The vote was tied at four each, with planning convenor Councillor Norman Hampshire casting the deciding vote for the housing.

The Reporter noted that the council had resolved that it was minded to give planning approval in principle on the site during the examination of the plan and agreed it was suitable for inclusion.

The revised plan will now be presented to East Lothian councillors for discussion in the coming months.

If they agree with the reporter’s amendments, it will move into the next phase of being adopted.

The full 1,104-page response by the reporter is available on the council’s website.