A HOUSE in North Berwick has been described as “not fit for purpose” by its owner, who is seeking planning consent to demolish it.

Otto Thoresen has owned Westerlea, on the town’s Abbotsford Road, for more than two decades, but has applied to East Lothian Council to demolish the existing four-bedroom property and to build a new house in its place.

Initially there had been discussions about building two houses on the site, but those plans were discarded following a meeting between the agents, Helen Lucas Architects, and the council’s planning department.

A design and access statement, submitted to the local authority, says: “The existing house and garage will be removed, the existing hedge and willow tree are to be retained and permission for a single house in the centre of the site is now sought, accessed via the existing driveway.

“The new building will be used as a family home, used by the applicant and his family.”

The impact on neighbouring properties would be “minimal” during demolition of the existing house or construction of the new one, because “the proposed house maintains a fair distance to neighbouring properties”.

And the design statement adds: “Mr Thoresen has owned Westerlea House for 23 years.

“And while it is in good working order it is currently not fit for his purpose.

“He wishes to remain in the area and so, by re-purposing the site with a new home to live in, he will be able to continue to reside at Westerlea and positively contribute to the local community for years to come.”