CLAIMS that a care village on the outskirts of North Berwick would “ghettoise” its residents are set to be challenged after developers appealed  to Scottish Ministers to intervene.

The proposed mix of 153 residential and care units on fields at Castleton Farm, on the eastern edge of the town, was refused planning permission by East Lothian Council in August.

Planning officers had told the council’s planning committee members that the development would be “harmfully prominent” and “grossly out of character” with the surrounding countryside.

And during a virtual meeting of the committee, Dr Claire Doldon, from North Berwick Health Centre, hit out at the proposals to site older people who required medical care in one place outside the town itself.

She said: “Social isolation has a well-established detriment to the health and wellbeing of the elderly.

“This proposal has the potential to ghettoise this community as it is too far to walk into the town.”

Developers Goldcrest insisted the care village  was a “positive plan to deliver what is needed for older people”.

Now, they have lodged an appeal against the council’s decision with Scottish Ministers.

The proposals received 509 representations when they came to council, with  506 registering objections.

Objectors raised issues with the size of the development, its impact on the countryside and views, as well as lack of public transport to the site and increase in traffic to the town itself.

Local resident Jay Smith told the committee: “This is a compound on the periphery of North Berwick which will isolate people there.”

The planning committee unanimously supported its officers’ recommendation to refuse planning permission.

The appeal is now awaiting registration with the Scottish Government Reporter.