ELEVEN flats could be built on a car park next to the former East Lothian Courier works.

A decade ago the former Courier building on the corner of Haddington’s Market Street and Newton Port was bought by East Lothian Housing Association (ELHA).

ELHA converted the Market Street side of the building into its headquarters while the northern part was turned into 14 flats called The Granary.

Now, the seven-space car park immediately adjacent to The Granary – used by residents there but also available to the general public – could be turned into 11 flats and associated car parking.

A planning application has been lodged with East Lothian Council by developer Whiteadder Limited.

If approved, there would be a total of 12 car parking spaces for the whole site – the new and the old flats.

According to a design and access statement, which is included with the planning application, the site is “currently an unattractive car park which detracts from the town centre setting”.

It goes on: “Given the site’s location within the Haddington Conservation Area it represents an opportunity to redevelop a brownfield site.

“The design of the new building will respect its historic context and character to create a positive contribution to the area.”

The ground floor would be home to a two-bedroom flat, with the first and second floors containing four two-bedroom properties and a one-bedroom flat.

Outside, there would be a total of 12 car parking spaces, as well as a cycle store for 25 bicycles.

Jan Wilson, chairwoman of the town’s community council, had concerns about the plans.

She said: “We did object to that for the simple reason that although they are providing car parking spaces, the existing cars that park there are going to have nowhere to park.

“You are just adding that onto the congestion in the town.”

Councillor Tom Trotter, who represents Haddington, acknowledged the removal of general parking spaces could prove an issue.

He said: “If the council came up with a solid idea and created a car park before they started going down the line of losing spaces, it would probably take the edge off the negativity surrounding any development, especially in the town centre. There are major parking issues at the moment. [The council] are trying their best to resolve it but it is just taking time.”

The car park is owned by ELHA.