A BID to turn a former Coastguard station into a bijou beachfront home has been given the go-ahead after councillors overturned a decision by planners.

East Lothian Council’s planning officials had previously rejected the application to convert the former station, which looks onto East Beach, Dunbar, into a small house after ruling it did not provide enough ‘outlook’ and ‘amenity’ for future occupants.

However, a meeting via Skype of the council’s Local Review Body overturned the refusal on appeal after councillors ruled the proposal was better than leaving the building to fall into disrepair.

And they questioned whether the design of the new property, which featured extensive glass frontage to let in light, would, in fact, make the amenity more acceptable.

Planning officers had estimated the new one-bedroom property would offer just nine square metres of living space in the proposed kitchen/living area.

The review body was told that there was no set standard for amenity and outlook when it came to conversions like the one put forward for the building, on the town’s Lamer Street.

Instead, Leigh Taylor, council planning advisor, said it was down to the individual officer involved.

He said: “There is no exact standard, it is a judgement that has to be made by each case officer.

“In this case, despite the entire east face (of the property) being entirely glazed, it was judged there would not be sufficient outlook and amenity for the occupant.”

Sutherland and Co Architects Ltd, the agents, had argued that concern about a lack of amenity and outlook for occupants should be dismissed because the property would look out onto the beach, a point they said was made to planners at the time of the original application.

In a statement to the review body, they said: “We made the point that the proposal includes a balcony and ground to the rear for amenity. The site is also opposite the beach.”

Councillor Sue Kempson, review body member and ward councillor, said she believed it was important to see the building used for a new purpose and did not feel the lack of amenity was a problem, adding: “Not everyone wants a garden.”

Fellow member Councillor Neil Gilbert agreed, adding: “A building like this, the longer it is left the more it deteriorates. It has to find a new purpose.”

Councillor Norman Hampshire, review body chairman and ward member, also upheld the appeal.

He said: “It has to have another use either as commercial or residential and I think residential is a good fit for this building. It will give it a long-term future because someone will look after it and keep it to a high standard.”

The review body agreed unanimously to support the appeal and allow planning permission with conditions for the conversion.