A FLAT in Dunbar has become home to East Lothian’s second occupational therapy hub.

Permission has been given to transform the property on James Court, despite concerns that it meant the loss of a one-bedroom, ground-floor flat.

The development, which was proposed and approved by East Lothian Council, is the second of its kind in the county following a similar scheme on Tranent’s Well Wynd.

It will now act as a base for occupational therapists to assess residents to determine what aids would be useful to them on a daily basis.

In turn, it is hoped it will allow people to remain in their own homes while “staying safe, supported and able”.

East Lothian Council’s planning department, which received a letter of support from the health and wellbeing sub-group of Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership, confirmed that the facility would be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

The facility, which will attract five clients per day on an appointment-only basis, will be used by people aged 18 and over, and no external changes are planned for the building.

However, questions were raised by both Dunbar Community Council and the group in neighbouring West Barns.

The Dunbar group questioned why some of the equipment could not be demonstrated in an individual’s home or an al- ready-established local authority building.

They also asked for a condition to be imposed on the permission that the property would become a flat again when the occupational therapy hub was no longer required.

Meanwhile, the planning officer’s report noted: “West Barns Community Council are concerned that a one-bedroom, lower-floor flat has been removed from the East Lothian Council housing portfolio as there is a shortage of such properties in the area.

“However, members understand the need for such a property to be used for the occupational therapy purpose identified.

“Use of the flat will enable people to be assessed for smart technology locally rather than having to travel to Tranent.

“Accordingly, West Barns Community Council has confirmed that they support the change of use.”