THE company behind a builders’ merchant on the edge of Haddington is being urged to think again.

MKM Building Supplies is hopeful its new yard could be up and running by the end of the year after the plans got the green light from East Lothian Council in January.

However, a group of residents is working alongside local councillors to ask the Hull-based company to reconsider.

Provost John McMillan and fellow ward councillors Shamin Akhtar and Craig Hoy recently met with residents opposed to the proposed development off Gateside Road, among them Helen Fraser, who lives on Gateside Road.

She said: “Safety is the concern for me.

“It is on a corner in the road and nobody has taken account of the 200-odd houses that have to use that road.”

Residents lodged 37 objections against the planned yard, which will be built on land previously earmarked for a nursing home bordering the B6471 to the south, Moncrieff Walk to the west, Aubigny Row and Peregrine Avenue to the north, and Gateside Road – from which access to the site will come – to the east.

Mrs Fraser felt that it was not the correct site for the development and instead suggested it could be built at Harperdean, off the A199.

Mr McMillan, the only Haddington and Lammermuir ward member on East Lothian Council’s planning committee, had called in the plans to be considered by the committee and requested that the development be turned down.

But he was unsuccessful, despite the support of councillors Sue Kempson, Jeremy Findlay, Kenny McLeod and Katie Mackie.

Mr McMillan confirmed that he planned to write to the business to make it aware of local concerns.

Mr Hoy and Ms Akhtar both spoke out against the scheme, which was approved by the casting vote of the planning committee’s convener, Councillor Norman Hampshire.

Mr Hoy outlined three options: a judicial review, which he felt was unrealistic due to the costs involved; buying the land from the landowner; or writing to MKM and asking them to consider an alternative site.

The councillor felt the third option was perhaps the most likely to be successful.

A spokesman for the developer confirmed that they intended to open a branch in Haddington.

He said: “We prioritise the safety of the local community and the requirements of the local authorities.

“Haddington residents can be assured our new site takes into consideration the local road network, traffic impact and pedestrians.

“MKM works closely with technical experts and the local authority to ensure public safety regulations are achieved.”

And he added: “We are happy to discuss any further concerns raised by residents.”