RESIDENTS in North Berwick are being given the chance to ensure their voices are heard, as a plan for the town’s future is drawn up in a series of community events starting this weekend.

The town’s community leaders have called in independent consultants Planning Aid Scotland to help them draw up a Local Place Plan which will be submitted to East Lothian Council.

It is hoped that the plan will be accepted by the council and incorporated into the county’s Local Development Plan, with those behind it keen to ensure that the town’s residents' voices are heard.

READ MORENorth Berwick residents urged to have their say on town's future

Don McKee, from the steering group driving the project, said that the Local Place Plan would ensure that North Berwick’s unique needs and vision were taken into account in future planning.

He said: “While the council’s Local Development Plan can be ubiquitous with policies across the whole of East Lothian, we believe this way, with a Local Place Plan, will give the council a more nuanced approach.

“We have until the end of May to submit our Local Place Plan and, with the help of Planning Aid Scotland, who are experienced in working with communities, we hope to produce a plan which is accepted by the council.”

The town is the first in East Lothian to undergo the council’s proposed parking management review which includes introducing parking charges and permit zones

The local authority proposals have sparked objections from local businesses and saw the council this week agree to withdraw the original Traffic Order brought in to introduce the changes and draw up a new one to address some of the concerns.

READ MOREBid to scrap parking charge plans for East Lothian's towns rejected

North Berwick Community Council, North Berwick Trust, North Berwick Environment & Heritage Trust and North Berwick Harbour Trust formed the steering group to develop the Local Place Plan, working alongside Planning Aid Scotland, which is described as a charity and social enterprise which supports communities navigating the planning systems.

This week, Planning Aid Scotland has been in the town’s schools talking to pupils and taking their views onboard, and a community survey has been carried out and results fed into the consultation.

Comments made by local people can be viewed on a Placecheck map of the town ( where areas for improvement or enjoyed have all been listed.

Now the steering group is preparing to hold ‘community conversations’ with residents, with the first two sessions in the town’s community centre on Saturday, at Abbey Church on Monday, and online next Thursday (March 7).

Each session will have a different theme about living in the town.

Go to the North Berwick Community Council website for full details of the times, themes and how to take part in the conversations.