A SITE previously earmarked for a 60-bed nursing home could now become a builders’ merchants instead.

Land at Haddington’s Gateside, between Aubigny Row and West Road, has sat vacant for several years since hopes for a nursing home were dashed.

Now, new plans are being weighed up by East Lothian Council for a builders’ merchants to be created there.

Ward councillor Tom Trotter sat on the local authority’s planning committee which gave the go-ahead to the nursing home.

He told the Courier he remained keen on a nursing home on the site but that seemed unlikely.

Mr Trotter, who is no longer on the planning committee, said: “It does look a bit odd with nothing happening there.

“I would be in favour of a nursing home there but obviously if nobody is going to build it then what do you do with the ground?”

Mr Trotter acknowledged that some residents of the new housing neighbouring the site might not be happy with the idea of a builders’ merchants being created near their homes but, equally, some people would have been unhappy with a nursing home or further housing.

However, potential operator Viewpoint confirmed in 2016 that it was no longer involved in plans for the care home – less than 24 hours after the scheme was granted planning permission.

It cited the 60-bed nursing home on the town’s Mill Wynd as a reason for not moving forward with the plans. Nigel and Carolyn Jowett are the applicants for the planning application for builders’ merchants – they were also the applicants for the nursing home.

A number of residents have concerns about the potential noise generated from the site.

One resident on Aubigny Row said: “Ideally, we would like nothing there and for it to be nice and quiet there.

“We have all got concerns it will be noisy and dusty.

“All the bedrooms are at the back and so it will be quite disruptive.”

Another resident, on nearby Peregrine Avenue, said she too had concerns about noise generated on the site and whether it would be “an eyesore”.