NEARLY 40 new homes being built in Longniddry will be occupied by tenants who are over 60 years old.

East Lothian Council gave the go-ahead for nearly 180 new houses in three separate applications to its planning committee.

One application for four houses and 35 flats revealed that all its units would be for older people.

The housing, which is on land identified for potentially having up to 450 new homes on it, to the south of Longniddry, will be taken by Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association once built.

A planning application before the committee revealed: “All of the residential units would be for independent living for people aged over 60 years.”

The flats will mainly be in two-storey buildings, with one three-storey building and four bungalows which will be built around a courtyard-style quadrangle.

Two additional applications included one for 47 houses and 12 flats, all of which will be for private sale, and another for 71 houses and 10 flats, of which only two houses and eight flats will be affordable.

Places for People, which is overseeing the over-60s housing and 59 private properties, welcomed the decision as the “first phase” in the Longniddry South development.

Willie Lockhart, Places for People interim director of development for Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have the go-ahead to begin building at Longniddry. It promises to be a truly special development offering benefits to both new and existing residents of the village.”

The layout of the development, on land owned by the Wemyss and March Estate, sees housing designed by architect Ben Pentreath to reflect traditional East Lothian homes, and the committee was shown a walkthrough video depicting what the streets will look like.

Ward councillor Lachlan Bruce said: “I welcome the decision to provide affordable housing for over-60s in Longniddry.

“It is an issue for people wanting to downsize from their properties which are then freed up for families who want to move in.”

Representatives of Longniddry Community Council attended the meeting to raise concerns about some of the infrastructure surrounding the new housing. But they told the committee they had no objections to the development itself.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, planning convenor, encouraged the community council to contact the local authority with any concerns about issues during the development of the new housing.

And council leader Willie Innes praised the members of the community council for attending.

He said: “The community council raise valid concern which will need to be addressed by the developers. They are not opposing it in principle and we want to work with the community to manage the process.”

He added: “I think this development is something special and something different and will make a positive impact on Longniddry and East Lothian.”

Rock Feilding-Mellen, from Socially Conscious Capital, which worked with the landowners to develop a masterplan for the entire site, welcomed the plans’ approval.

He said: “We are thrilled that Zero C can now start building these much-needed new homes and turning our carefully designed masterplan and design code into a beautiful 21st-century extension to Longniddry.

“We trust that residents and members of the wider community who contributed throughout the many consultations will feel that their time and effort has paid off when they finally get to see the results.”