PLANS for a car park with more than 200 spaces on the outskirts of Haddington’s town centre have been put on hold.

East Lothian Council has been exploring the possibility of creating a ‘transport hub’ off the town’s Whittingehame Drive, beside the skate park and 3G pitch.

However, the controversial proposals are now on hold, with the local authority’s leadership board – made up of Norman Hampshire (Labour), Jane Henderson (Conservatives) and Stuart Currie (SNP) – deciding to instead focus on supporting the local economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Hampshire, depute council leader, said: “Councillors believe it is important to concentrate East Lothian Council’s efforts on supporting the reopening of local businesses in Haddington in a safe way, prevent the spread of the virus, and promote local businesses.

“This is a major operation for the Council to support the recovery of local businesses and Haddington town centre during this difficult time.

“During the pandemic there has been a significant change in traffic movement across East Lothian including Haddington town centre.

“This is a unique opportunity to monitor traffic volumes and flows, and find a long term satisfactory solution to the problems in Haddington for residents, shoppers, shopkeepers and other traders.

“We need to look at the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on transport and parking in Haddington and enable all potential proposals to be considered in a comprehensive manner with community engagement.”

Prioritising promotion of the local economy throughout East Lothian with its ‘Stay safe, support local and Love East Lothian’ campaign’, councillors have agreed that the proposals for a transport hub in Haddington should be put on hold to give confidence as the recovery process starts for local businesses.

East Lothian Council officials have written to the Scottish Government to ask for continuation of funding for town centres.