A PUBLIC meeting to discuss a planned £49 million retirement village to the east of North Berwick takes place this month.

Proposals from Goldcrest Communities Limited and Richmond Care Villages Holdings Limited for land at Castleton Farm were made available to the public last week.

If approved, 212 assisted living and close care accommodation homes would be built to the south of the A198 between Rhodes Holdings and Bass Rock View, comprising 94 independent living units, a 60-bed care home and 38 assisted living units and 20 bungalows.

North Berwick Community Council meets on Tuesday but has decided to hold a separate meeting later in the month to allow residents to have their say.

Judy Lockhart, group chairwoman, said: “Following a high level of public interest in the development of the Castleton site, combined with the significant volume of documents to review in relation to the planning application, the community council will not discuss this planning application at our meeting on Tuesday.

“Instead, we will only provide a general update on the application having been received.

“The community council will hold a second public meeting on February 18 in St Andrew Blackadder Church, with the planning application being the only item on the agenda. The meeting will begin at 7.30pm in the Sanctuary ie. upstairs in the main church.

“Representatives for the developers have confirmed attendance and, as with all our public meetings, all are welcome to attend.”

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

The developers say that the public areas within the planned village – such as a bar, restaurant and woodland walks – would be open to non-residents.

And they estimate that more than 150 new jobs would be created in the community.

A group opposing the plans – Save North Berwick Views – was formed when the proposals first emerged in 2018 and were initially earmarked for nearby farmland north of the A198.

Angela Paterson, from the group, welcomed the public meeting and said: “We are delighted to see North Berwick Community Council has taken this seriously.

“The extra meeting is probably appropriate because there will be a huge swell of interest from the local community and will be attending the meeting whether they agree or disagree with the plan.

“It is heartening to see the community council organising something to give full consideration.”

Mrs Paterson told the Courier she and a number of other people had spent time looking through more than 100 documents included within the planning application on East Lothian Council’s website.

She said the group remained against the proposals and added: “In short, our reaction is nothing has really changed from the previous Proposal of Application Notice (PAN): it is still in the countryside around town.

“We have got a local council which has an award-winning local development plan.”

She stressed the scale and location were the major factors in opposing the proposed development.

“We don’t have any issue with retirement homes, we don’t have any issue with care homes, we don’t have any issue with housing,” she said. “We only have an issue with the location of a facility of this scale.”