THE global financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic have been blamed for the lack of progress in transforming a former secret wartime property.

Permission was given to change Gin Head, to the east of North Berwick, into seven homes more than a decade ago.

However, progress on the buildings, near Tantallon Castle, has proven slow.

Now, East Lothian Council’s planning department is being asked to extend planning permission by another three years.

A document included with the latest application notes: “The applicant, Jazcorp Ltd, has recently purchased the site and is keen to ensure that the planning permission is renewed ahead of being able to embark on the development.

“The site has suffered due to the unique nature of both its location and the development proposals but, perhaps more pertinently, the series of permissions cover the period that saw the global financial crisis and the Covid pandemic.”

Prior to the pandemic, the unusual series of buildings was on the market for £2.5 million – down from the previous £3.5 million asking price.

Details included in the application highlight the historic use of the clifftop property.

It reads: “The buildings and the land they occupy are the remains of a radar station that dates from 1943.

“During the Second World War, the station was used to test naval radars.

“After the war years, it continued to be used by the Admiralty for radar trials.

“Thereafter, until the station closed, it was used by a business company for the development of new types of radar.”

Fencing surrounds the vacant buildings and the site is described as having “an unkempt appearance”.

The seven proposed properties are split over four separate buildings, with further buildings being used as garages.

The homes would range in size from one to four bedrooms, including a property overlooking the clifftop.

The supporting document, from agent APT Planning and Development, describes the proposals as “a significant improvement to a prominent and well-known site that has been vacant and deteriorating for many years”.

It reads: “The series of planning permissions stretch back to 2011, though the prevailing economic conditions have prevented these innovative and high-quality proposals coming to fruition.

“The new owners of the site, Jazcorp Ltd, have purchased the site, wish to extend the existing planning permission and finally see the Gin Head site be brought back to life.”