THE Scottish Seabird Centre will not appeal the decision to reject plans for a multi-million-pound National Marine Centre in North Berwick.

Bosses at the Seabird Centre had been considering their options but confirmed on Tuesday that they would not challenge the ruling of East Lothian Council’s planning committee to turn down the plans.

At a meeting last month, the plans for an extension to the existing centre building, including an observatory and glass walkway – which had been recommended for refusal by planners – were rejected by councillors.

Planning officials called for the proposals to be turned down as “by virtue of its height, size, scale, bulk, massing, architectural form and external finishes and its positioning, would be an overdevelopment of the site that would appear harmfully overbearing, dominant, intrusive and exposed within its landscape setting, out of keeping with its surroundings, disruptive to views of the harbour promontory and harmful to this historic part of the North Berwick conservation area”.

This week, Tom Brock, chief executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “Since the planning meeting we have taken our time to talk to interested parties before reviewing our plans for the future.

“It has been agreed that we will not appeal the planning decision as we believe it is important to move forward in a collaborative way to create a facility that everyone can be proud of and benefit from.”

Mr Brock is, though, still hopeful that the Seabird Centre’s vision of a National Marine Centre in North Berwick will become a reality.

He added: “We want to create an enhanced centre that explores the fascinating marine environment, its amazing wildlife and the major threats they now face, such as plastic pollution and climate change.

“There is important research being undertaken across Scotland which could provide ongoing content for a marine centre, and we know from the popularity of [hit BBC TV programme] Blue Planet 2 that there is a multigenerational interest, and need, to further explore marine wildlife and tackle environmental issues.

“There are an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic in our oceans, and issues like this need to be addressed as a priority.

“This week, research revealed that 95 per cent of North Sea fulmars have ingested plastic, threatening their survival.

“We are greatly encouraged by the support for the concept of a marine centre and we will build on this support to move forward in a positive way.”