CONCERNS over sewage issues caused by new housing built next to cottages on land in Dunbar failed to stop plans for a further 115 homes being built next to it.

Residents of cottages at Newtonlees Farm urged East Lothian councillors to stop plans for more houses next to their homes after complaining about unresolved sewage issues caused by the same developer at a neighbouring site.

But while developer Robertson Homes received a rebuke from the local authority's planning convenor for not addressing the issue sooner, he backed the new housing, which will allow a new cemetery to be built in the town.

The proposal by Robertson Homes was originally granted planning permission in principal when it was put forward by Gladman Development Ltd in 2017.

Included in the plans is a new cemetery which will include 2,000 lairs, 700 ashes-only lairs and an area of woodland burial.

During a meeting of the planning committee via Skype yesterday, Robertson Homes said it had taken on the development as a 'natural progression' from its current development on neighbouring land which is nearing completion.

However residents living in the older cottages on the land joined the virtual meeting to voice their anger at the issues they have faced from the houses already built by the developer.

Jone Matteucci told the committee: "Our sewage has been compromised since developers dug the ground up to build the Suds, in the process compromising pipes.

"I have had to have my sewage unblocked twice, once as recently as last week. It is a major environment issue and should have everyone concerned given we are in a pandemic."

And Paul Beveridge said: "The development is still having issues with sewage, the site causes problems with residents which have not been resolved."

John Murphy from Robertson Homes pledged to send a team to address the issues being raised over sewage.

The plans receive 19 representations, 18 of which were objections.

Dunbar Community Council objected citing the ongoing sewage issues as well as concerns over a proposed safe route to school, Green travel plans and the impact of additional traffic on the area.

And one objector claimed people would not want to live next to a cemetery, which will sit alongside some of the development.

However planning convenor Norman Hampshire said the delivery of the burial ground was vital to the town.

He said: "This is an important site within the Dunbar community, its being developed to provide the new cemetery, It will be a huge asset to the community."

The planning convenor however criticised the developers regarding the issues with sewage.

He said: "Roberton Homes have assured us they are going to try to resolve the issues, it would have been helpful if they had allowed the older properties to have a connection the the main drainage system, if that could be done it would be helpful."

And fellow committee member Councillor Sue Kempson questioned objections over housing being close to the cemetery itself.

She said: "I would think some people would want to live next to the cemetery because at least the neighbours would not be very noisy."

The committee agreed unanimously to approve the conditions attached to planning permission.

Robertson Homes said it hoped to start work on the site in the autumn.