A BID to transform a former bank into a restaurant has been given the go ahead, despite concerns from the town’s community council.

The Royal Bank of Scotland, at the junction of Ayres Wynd and High Street in Prestonpans, closed its doors in August 2016.

At the beginning of the month, Ayres Wynd Developments Ltd was given the go ahead to create a restaurant and two flats on the site, despite the community council highlighting various issues.

Charlie Fitzgibbon, from the developer, was pleased to see planning permission given and hoped to be on site within a matter of months.

He said: “We have still got the building warrant to get pushed through, which is probably another six weeks.

“We have got guys just doing preliminary work and making sure it is safe.

“We are hoping to start in six to eight weeks.”

Mr Fitzgibbon, who lives in Port Seton, said no decision had been taken on what sort of restaurant would be based in the building and added the developers were open to the possibility of another type of business moving in.

He added: “The decision has not been made. It could be a shop, or an office – I don’t think it is going be a bank.”

Seven points of concern from Prestonpans Community Council were listed in the planning officer’s report.

Among those were fears that the proposed extension “would be completely out of character with the surrounding area in terms of its height, cladding and pitch”.

Another concern said: “Significant public funds are being spent upgrading Prestonpans High Street in general and the War Memorial in particular.

“This application would overshadow these welcome improvements both physically and metaphorically.”

It is not the first time plans have been given the go ahead for the site. Ross Brunton applied for planning permission for a restaurant and two flats on the site in 2017.

Initially, East Lothian Council’s planning department turned down the proposals, before that decision was overturned by the authority’s local review body.

The new proposals aim to remodel the previously approved scheme “to improve the floor-to-ceiling height within apartments as well as forming a more unified elevation fitting of a corner site in the centre of Prestonpans”.

The two flats, one on the first floor and one on the second floor, would have three bedrooms.