A BID to extend the opening hours of a beer garden at East Lothian’s smallest pub has been given the thumbs up – despite claims that patrons were using the neighbouring bowling club as “a urinal”.

Station Yard Micropub opened in December 2017 and has proven a popular addition to the town.

Previously, visitors to the pub, which is beside Dunbar Railway Station, could only drink in the beer garden until 8pm.

However, Gerard McPhillips called on East Lothian Council to allow that to be extended until 10pm throughout the week.

East Lothian Council’s planning department approved the move, despite concerns from a neighbour.

Nine reasons for objection were highlighted in letters to the council’s planning department, with concerns including that Dunbar Bowling Club had been “used as an urinal by drinkers at the pub”, a claim which was dismissed by a representative of the bowling club.

Other concerns focused on noise being generated from the Station Road pub.

According to the objection, noise levels were “generally acceptable” up until 8pm but noise levels “intensify significantly with particular issues arising on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights”.

The planning officer’s report noted that any excessive noise produced from the use of the beer garden or the pub would be a matter for the local authority’s environmental health team and not planning.

The plans also received a letter of support, with someone getting in touch to state that the pub was “an excellent community facility and the extended use of the garden will further enhance its role within the community”.

A supporting statement included within the planning application explained the desire to see the beer garden’s hours extended.

It read: “Being located so close to Dunbar Railway Station, the garden is particularly popular with commuters heading home in the evening, especially during the summer months. Closing the garden at 8pm significantly restricts its use and our customers’ enjoyment of it.

“Outwith the summer months, on some weekdays we do not open until 5pm, which means our customers only have a three-hour window should they wish to sit out and enjoy the garden.

“Additionally, given the relatively limited interior space available at Station Yard, having the option to use the garden area helps to improve the overall amenity and ambience we are able to offer our customers.

“Extending the time we are able to do this until 10pm will significantly improve what we are able to offer our customers.”

Planning officials at the council agreed to the extension, with the conditions that no amplified music was allowed in the beer garden and that doors to the beer garden would be fitted with a self-closing mechanism to minimise noise escaping from the pub.