A BID to build a new house near Fenton Barns has been turned down, despite more than a dozen letters supporting the scheme.

Developers claimed the site, to the west of the B1345, was a brownfield site.

However, East Lothian Council has rejected the claim, describing the proposed site as being in the countryside.

Pat Cesari wants to build the two-storey home but was met with opposition from the local authority’s planning department.

A supporting statement described the site as “brownfield” and having been “previously developed”.

Tony Thomas, of APT Planning and Development, on behalf of Pat Cesari, said: “This is a high-quality, small-scale residential development that would make a positive contribution to the existing cluster of homes at New Mains.

“It is a gap site and comfortably part of the hamlet envelope.

“The land is not in agricultural use and the proposal is entirely compatible with the use and amenity of neighbouring land and other residential properties.”

East Lothian Council received 20 letters regarding the application, with 14 supporting the proposed development.

Among the grounds for support were that the building would give “a positive impact to a derelict site that currently has no use” and that the proposed house looked “fantastic”.

Five letters of objection were also received, with concerns that it did not comply with council policies.

Concerns included that “the removal and building over a long-established allotment and possible removal of well-established trees will not contribute to the enhancement of biodiversity” and that “no measures to conserve, restore and enhance biodiversity in accordance with national and local guidance have been provided”.

Objectors also argued it was not a brownfield site and pointed to the “long established allotment”.

Planning officers noted that the proposed four-bedroom house was “adjacent to existing residential properties” but argued it was “not defined as a settlement” in the East Lothian Local Development.

The report, which stated the site was not a “a brownfield, vacant or derelict site”, said of the homes there: “Rather they are defined as being located within the countryside.

“These existing houses and buildings which contain residential properties are not new build developments but are existing houses which are long established in their countryside location, or in the case of the residential properties within Fenton Steadings are located within a long established steading building which has been converted to residential properties and which are part of the character and appearance of the area.”

The planning officer ruled that the proposed house would not be an “an addition to a settlement” and instead would “constitute sporadic development in the countryside”.