CONTROVERSIAL plans for more than 100 homes on the outskirts of Dunbar are being considered by East Lothian Council.

Land at Newtonlees, to the east of the town, will be transformed if Robertson Homes’ plans are given the green light.

Planning permission in principle for up to 115 homes and a new cemetery was given in November 2017.

However, the decision sparked criticism, with the site outside of the county’s Local Development Plan (LDP).

Ward councillor Norman Hampshire had the casting vote and elected to give the scheme, which was proposed by Gladman Developments Ltd, the go-ahead.

Mr Hampshire was unable to comment on the new proposals as he is a member of the council planning committee, which could have the final say on the plans.

However, he reiterated his reasoning for giving the scheme planning permission in principle two years ago, stressing there was an urgent need for a new cemetery in the town, with a failure to see one created leading to the likelihood of Dunbar residents having to be buried elsewhere.

He added: “On top of that, this development enables a site for a number of more affordable houses that are in massive demand in Dunbar.

“We are currently in the process of allocating the houses in the neighbouring Robertson Homes site that is being built.

“The demand for this is really, really high and this will give some families an opportunity to rent a property in the town where they live.”

The majority of the housing being proposed is to the south of the cemetery, which has already been approved by East Lothian Council.

Twenty-eight two-bedroom affordable homes would be built on the site. The remaining houses would be a mix of three-bedroom (three), four-bedroom (67), five-bedroom (15) and six-bedroom (two) properties.

The new cemetery will include 2,000 lairs, 700 ashes-only lairs and an area of woodland burial space.

It is expected to provide burial provision to the community for more than 50 years, with work due to start before the end of the year.

Pippa Swan, chairwoman of Dunbar Community Council, said: “My big disappointment is that we should even be considering housing on a site that was not cleared in the LDP.”

Mrs Swan also questioned how the new development would link with the town and feared it would put further pressure on the surrounding roads, including the A1087’s junction with the A1, near the cement works.