PLANS for a £49 million retirement village on farmland to the east of North Berwick have been lodged with East Lothian Council.

Goldcrest Communities Limited and Richmond Care Villages Holdings Limited want to create the development on land near the coast between Rhodes Holdings and Bass Rock View.

Discussions about the project have been ongoing for more than 12 months, with two public exhibitions taking place.

The original plans sparked concern among many in the community and saw the formation of Save North Berwick Views in protest.

At that time, the proposed development was to be closer to the coast on the northern side of the A198; it is now earmarked for the south side of the road.

If approved, the 7.8-hectare project would feature 212 assisted living and close care accommodation homes.

This would include 94 independent living units, a 60-bed care home, 38 assisted living units and 20 bungalows.

Also included within the plans are landscaped gardens, woodland walks, allotments, a spa and wellness centre, restaurant and bar, and community facilities.

Guy Bailey, from Goldcrest Communities, said: “This is an extremely exciting proposal which will bring many benefits to North Berwick, including hundreds of new jobs; new, state-of-the-art accommodation and care facilities; and significant new income into the local economy.

“It will also create a new standard of living for those in retirement and create significant savings for public care services.

“Retirement villages are a relatively new concept in Scotland but have been very popular south of the Border and in many countries for many years.

“As well as providing purpose-built homes for older members of the community, they also provide valuable care services for them in stunning landscaped environments.”

According to the developers, the scheme would generate £4.1 million for the local economy.

The companies behind the plans say the retirement village would create more than 150 new operational jobs for the community including in on-site facilities and operations, residents’ care, catering, gardening and cleaning. In addition, chefs, waiters and bar staff would also be employed.

During the four-year build project, nearly 400 construction jobs (96 per year) would also be supported, it is claimed.

The public areas within the village – bar, restaurant, woodland walks and gardens – would also be open to the community and non-residents, and the fitness centre would also be accessible to all by subscription.

Philippa Fieldhouse, managing director of Richmond Villages, which is part of Bupa, said: “Richmond Villages offers a range of different properties, a tailored level of care and boasts state-of-the-art facilities to help residents live life to the full and live their best lives.”

Angela Paterson, from Save North Berwick Views, was keen to learn more about the scheme.

She said: “I very much look forward with interest to seeing what the details are and how they compare to previous plans.

“If they are similar, of course, we will be objecting and taking action as strongly as we did before.”

North Berwick Community Council is yet to see the proposals. Judy Lockhart, chairwoman, said they would discuss them at a future meeting.