THE acting chair of North Berwick High School’s parent council has raised concerns about a planned pump track, claiming there has been a "lack of public consultation" about the project.

Sharon Wellwood spoke at the most recent meeting of North Berwick Community Council and raised the issue about the planned new pump track, which would likely be located on a portion of land near the high school.

A pump track is a looped trail of mounds, gradients and ridges made from asphalt for biking and scooting, and suitable for all ages and abilities.

The site proposed for the pump track is owned by North Berwick Trust and earmarked for educational purposes, but Mrs Wellwood stressed her concerns about the “suitability of the site”.

The site, off Haddington Road, south-west of Law Primary School and next to CALA Homes’ Law Gardens development, was previously touted as a location for an overspill car park.

However, unlike other upcoming pump track developments in the county, which are led by East Lothian Council, the North Berwick proposal is instead being led by North Berwick Community Pump Track Group and therefore does not fall under the council’s control.

Mrs Wellwood said: “There has been no consultation whatsoever with anyone, no consultation with the nursery, the primary school or the high school.”

She said that in recent meetings with council officials “North Berwick is getting treated very differently to the other East Lothian schools”.

She added: “For example, Haddington, Tranent and Prestonpans have got a proposed pump track going onto their site but, because they are looking at council-owned land, they’ve done a full consultation.

“When we had the meeting regarding the pump track at the school, we said to East Lothian Council: ‘Why has North Berwick not had this consultation?’

“We felt quite strongly that again North Berwick isn’t getting the same sort of communication that other towns are getting.”

Mrs Wellwood said that East Lothian Council could not answer questions about site suitability, provision, who was going to run it and who was going to insure it.

She added: “North Berwick Pump Track Community Group is a community group in name only – there is no element of community in it as there hasn’t been a community consultation.

“One of the reservations that the school has is that they are going to be asked to rewrite the curriculum for PE and health and wellbeing to fit around the pump track, which is basically going to be put in situ on educational land without any real consultation.”

East Lothian Council denied that no consultation had occurred and stressed that North Berwick’s situation differed from other pump track developments in the county.

A council spokesperson said: “The aspiration to deliver a pump track in North Berwick was identified by the community group, who have led on the project to date, and supported by council officers.

“Projects in other parts of the county, including Tranent, Prestonpans, Haddington, Musselburgh and Dunbar, are council-led and focus on areas of council-owned land with the space and appropriate designation for a pump track.

“The options for the delivery of a pump track on council land in North Berwick are limited due to current uses and existing amenities already in place that would be impacted by the inclusion of a pump track.

“The community group have proposed the use of an area of land beside the education campuses for the location of a track.

“The land is identified in the council’s Local Development Plan for required future educational expansion and further discussions need to take place to determine whether this would be an appropriate use.

“This work is ongoing.

“We will continue to work with the North Berwick Community Pump Track Group to support their aspirations in a way that is achievable within the town’s land availability and designation.”

The spokesperson refuted Mrs Wellwood’s suggestion that the school would be forced to change its curriculum.

They added: “The council will bring together key stakeholders to determine the best fit for the land adjacent to the school and nursery site.

“Any proposals for a pump track or other facility in this area are on hold until this work is concluded.

“The parent council attended the meeting to represent the views of that body.

“This is separate to, and should not be represented as, the school’s position, which is a matter for the school and council to confirm.

“No requests have been or would be made to the school to rewrite the curriculum.”