FLOODING fears have led to the rejection of plans to turn a riverside shop into a flat – despite it being on a mainly residential street.

Tarron Scullion, owner of Apex Windows and Doors, Eskside West, Musselburgh, had applied to convert the shop into a ground-floor flat.

However, environment agency SEPA objected, saying the shop sits on a flood plain with a 0.5 per cent chance of flooding each year.

In a report, East Lothian Council planners said: “SEPA state that the change of use of the shop to a dwelling increases the land use vulnerability from a less vulnerable to highly vulnerable use under SEPA vulnerability guidance.

“They therefore object to the change of use of the premises from a shop to a residential.”

East Lothian Council is currently funding work towards creating a flood prevention scheme for Musselburgh, which faces risk from both the River Esk and the sea.

In 2012, a study identified areas of concern around the town, including Eskside West, where the majority of buildings are residential.

In the application to convert the shop into a flat, agents for the applicant said there was a 20cm step into the entrance and another 20cm step beyond that, making the flat 40cm above ground level.

But the planning officer’s report said that this additional height “has not been sufficient to persuade SEPA to withdraw their objection”.

It added: “No other evidence has been submitted in support of the application that demonstrates that the premises would not be at risk of flooding.”

Planning officers refused the application for a change of use from shop to a flat, ruling that the planned new home would be at “unacceptable risk” of being flooded.