PLANS to open a funeral ‘pod’ in a supermarket car park have been given the go-ahead, despite concerns it will block the view of an iconic mural.

Scotmid Co-operative is planning to put its first East Lothian funeral facility in a portable cabin parked next to its store on Prestonpans High Street.

The store has a large mural on one of its walls, which it commissioned local artist Tom Ewing to restore two years ago, depicting the salt panning heritage of the town.

A report by planning officers on the bid to site the portable cabin in the car park revealed that one local resident had raised concerns it would block the view of the mural from High Street.

However, the supermarket chain has stressed it is proud of the mural and would not do anything to detract from it.

The objector said: “Prestonpans is known for its murals and this design [the funeral home] is not in keeping with the overall look of the area.

“The unit’s proposed location is right next to one of the murals and will block out the view of the mural as people are walking down the High Street, taking away from the character of the town.”

They also objected to a loss of car parking spaces and increase in traffic which will be created by the new business.

However, planning officers said that the portable cabin would be on a part of the car park which was not in use, with the exception of a Scotmid Salvation Army charity clothes collection bin which was sited on it.

They approved the plans, saying that the new business would not “significantly” harm the amenity of the area.

The small funeral home includes an  arranging room, reception, toilet facilities and kitchen area.

James Blackburn, head of Scotmid Co-operative Funerals, said: “We’re delighted that the application for the new funeral pod in Prestonpans has been approved and we look forward to introducing it to the local community in 2019.

“We’re keen to allay any potential fears that the new funeral pod will block the mural situated on the side of the store.

“We fully understand its importance because Scotmid, who merged with Prestonpans Co-operative Society in 1994, commissioned and funded local artist Tom Ewing to restore the mural two years ago after weather had damaged the original, which was created by Kate Hunter in 2002.

“We’re proud that the mural is an iconic piece of street art and tells the story of the salt making process in the town.

“We want the new funeral pod to fit the local landscape and complement the mural.

“As a co-operative, our core purpose is to serve local communities and we believe our funeral pod will provide a valued service to the people of Prestonpans.”