AN APPEAL is being lodged against a decision to not allow a community group to buy an area of land and transform it into a “multi-generational community hub”.

North Berwick Community Development Company (NBCDC) wants to buy a 1.3-hectare site off the town’s Lime Grove.

However, its bid was rejected by East Lothian Council last month.

An appeal has to be lodged with the council by tomorrow (Friday) and Lesley Kay, chairwoman of Lime Grove Asset Transfer Group and a director of North Berwick Community Development Company, confirmed appeal documents would be sent to the local authority.

She said: “We hope the review will appreciate the amount of work and information supplied, recognise the level of community support, appreciate the community benefits involved and agree to the transfer of Lime Grove to the community.”

The council’s petitions and community empowerment review committee will consider any review. The committee is due to meet next month.

The site was previously home to a council depot and is owned by the local authority.

The council turned down the bid to take control of the site and felt there was “insufficient evidence” the move would “promote or improve economic development, regeneration, public health, social wellbeing or environmental wellbeing”.

When the bid was rejected, a spokeswoman for the council said: “The asset transfer request was considered under the agreed process for community asset transfers.

“Under the terms of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act, it was considered that there was insufficient evidence presented that this request would result in community improvements as suggested, nor did the evidence provided concerning possible funding sources for the project.”

NBCDC is challenging the suggestion there was insufficient evidence that the community hub would result in community benefits.

The community group claims there has been a great deal of community engagement and this was shown in the application.

The group wants the site, which has lain vacant for more than five years, transformed into a community hub which could host a youth space, a multi-purpose room for theatre and cinema, a cafe, a soft play area and a hostel.