THE first steps have been taken in plans for an ambitious development on the outskirts of Dunbar.

Proposals showing roads, footpaths and essential infrastructure for the DunBear Park development, adjacent to the town’s Asda store, have been submitted to East Lothian Council, along with the project’s renewable energy plans.

The development, revealed earlier this year, aims to include office, industrial, retail, leisure, extra care facilities, community uses and housing.

The Renewable Energy Strategy looks at adopting low-carbon technology to generate renewable heat and power on site.

Heating would be delivered onsite via an innovative district heating network, including the use of modern, low-carbon electric heat pumps.

It is hoped heating and hot water will not require fossil fuels and the district heating network could be zero carbon.

The initial planning application, yet to be validated by the council’s planning department, looks at roads, footpaths, cycle ways and street lighting.

Hallhill Developments Ltd, which is behind the plans for the 54.3-acre site, hopes that approval would allow the site to be developed at the earliest opportunity.

Ken Ross, representing the applicants, said: “We are delighted to be bringing forward proposals for the delivery of this exemplar low-carbon community, including the submission of our renewable energy strategy to the council along with road, footpath and cycleway planning applications.

“In the recent consultation we undertook, there was overwhelming support from the community for this being a low-carbon development.

“Adopting the latest low-carbon technology will not only provide clean green energy for our own development, but also on occasion feed a surplus back into the local grid.

“Construction and low-carbon technology will have a key role to play in the economic recovery from Covid-19 and through the DunBear Park development we are fulfilling these two objectives.”

If approved, the developer is keen to see work on the roads get under way early next year.

Emphasis will be placed on segregating and linking to the national and other cycle routes, where possible within a landscaped corridor.

The development would be located next to the DunBear sculpture, which pays tribute to Dunbar-born naturalist John Muir, who is credited with playing a key role in the establishment of national parks in the USA.

The electric heat pumps would be powered by their own green electricity supply fed from a series of photovoltaic and battery arrays, which would also deliver clean green energy to the whole site.

It is also anticipated that on occasion there would be a surplus of energy which could be fed back as exported green power to the electricity grid.

Hallhill Developments Ltd made a presentation to Dunbar Community Council last month. Jacquie Bell, secretary of the group, said there were concerns about how the development would impact on roads.

She said: “We are concerned that the road design could put more pressure on the A1 and the cement works junction. We are concerned about more pressure on Spott Road and the Spott Road roundabout.”