Controversial plans for a new house on high ground next to the former Heugh Reservoir, just east of North Berwick Law, have been re-submitted to East Lothian Council.

Geddes Consulting – on behalf of Tom Tait, retiring farmer of nearby Wamphray Farm – is requesting permission for a four-bedroom home to be built on a field to the east of the decommissioned water tank and west of Heugh Steadings.

The plans were initially withdrawn in September last year as it was considered that construction of the house would contravene council policy on rural housing.

However, following further analysis, the consultants took the view that these regulations contradicted Scottish Government policy and resubmitted the plans largely unaltered.

Bob Salter, director at Geddes Consulting and agent for the applicant, said: “Having examined the council’s determination of the previous application, we have resubmitted, highlighting inconsistencies in the officer’s determination process.

“In particular, the council’s policy of requiring occupancy restrictions to control housing in the countryside is contrary to Scottish Government policy.

“In addition, the council has totally ignored Government advice in Planning Advice Note (PAN) 72 Housing in the Countryside (2005), which allows a new house in a building group such as the Heugh to be approved.

“These material considerations should be given significant weight in the subsequent determination and the application approved.”

North Berwick Community Council also criticised the plans, having objected to the original application in September last year on the grounds of perceived negative visual impact.

At the time, members called the proposed development “dominant” and “out of place” in the local landscape.

The Courier asked East Lothian Council whether its policy contradicted Scottish Government policy but it indicated that it would be inappropriate to comment on a live application.

A council spokesperson said: “Legislation requires decisions on planning applications to be made in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on a specific application at this stage but full information regarding any decision is available to both applicants and public on conclusion.”

Plans show that the new house would be 7.5 metres tall.

It would be made of zinc, locally sourced natural stone, turned into feature walls, timber and concrete with white render, a dark grey render base course, dark grey aluminium windows, dark grey doors and glass.

Glass would also be used to form a bridge used as an entrance and exit to the property from the first floor, while there would also be an entrance on the ground floor.

The roof would be green and consist of a mixture of planted sedum, with zinc and aluminium detailing, sloping towards the north.

A decision is set to be made by July 24.