HOT food and drink could be served up on a trial basis at an increasingly busy coastal beauty spot.

East Lothian Council offered businesses the chance to come forward with proposals for snack bars and vans at a range of popular spots along the county’s coastline.

It comes at the same time as the area has welcomed record numbers of visitors over the last 18 months, with more and more people enjoying what East Lothian has to offer during the coronavirus pandemic.

Plans from Matsform Ltd are now with the local authority’s planning department to see a mobile snack bar off Belhaven’s Shore Road, beside the footpath which runs to the rear of Belhaven Bay Caravan Park.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, who also represents Dunbar on the local authority, will be involved in any discussions if the proposals come before the council’s planning committee.

He was unable to comment on the new plans but highlighted there was a demand for a facility offering refreshments.

He said: “We have had lots of requests from members in the community that they feel when you visit Belhaven you cannot even buy something to drink, a cup of coffee or a can of juice, or something to eat.

“It has been so busy and the last thing we want to see is people jump in their car to buy something to then drive back to the beach again.

“If there was something at the beach then they could stay there.

“It is now really, really busy and a lot of people expect when they visit the beach that there are some opportunities to buy refreshments when they are there.

“Whether this site or proposal is best or not will come out through the planning process.”

Mr Hampshire acknowledged there were likely to be concerns about issues including litter and odour, which could be controlled under planning conditions.

Pippa Swan, chairwoman of Dunbar Community Council, said there had been “a lot of disquiet” when East Lothian Council had put a number of coastal sites up for rent, with planning applications now coming forward.

East Lothian Council’s planning committee turned down plans for a site within the same car park two years ago.

The proposals, from a different applicant, had been recommended for approval but faced opposition from the community council and a number of neighbours.

Mrs Swan said those living near the application site had expressed “anxieties” about odours and noise generated by any nearby snack bar.

She added: “Before Covid, the car park was quite a quiet little car park.

“Now, there can be 100 or more cars.

“It is very, very busy and the character of the place has changed a lot.

“It needs to be super sensitive to that but the council have plainly decided that is a facility that they want to try to provide to visitors.”