MORE than 100 jobs could be created if a £12 million project to build a care home and hotel side-by-side in North Berwick is given the go-ahead.

A proposal of application notice (PAN) has been submitted to East Lothian Council by Frontier Estates Ltd to develop land to the west of the town’s Tesco store, off Tantallon Road, which is currently the home of long-established car sales and garage business James Mitchell Cars.

Last Tuesday, more than 100 people attended a public consultation event at the town’s Glen Golf Club focusing on the planned development.

Rick Finc, of the scheme’s planning consultants, insisted that there had been a “very positive” response from residents.

He said: “We have had local businesses, residents – particularly from the Ben Sayers Park area – and a good representation from the community council.”

Duncan Ford, development director at Frontier Estates, was similarly pleased, adding: “There is a changing demographic in North Berwick so there is a need for both a budget-style hotel and a care home.

“We’ve had people come today to find out about the care home with a view to booking their relatives in.

“There have been some concerns about parking and traffic management but we’re in discussions with East Lothian Council about that and don’t see there being any problems.”

As well as a 65-bed hotel and 75-bed care home, there would be 71 car parking spaces for the hotel and 25 for the care home.

Mr Finc added: “We don’t anticipate there being more than 20 cars at the care home at any one time.”

He was also keen to stress that there had been support from local business owners and that the new hotel was “very unlikely” to have an alcohol licence.

Mr Ford said: “We have had approaches about food-led opportunities but I did not think that would be the most suitable and coming here that has reaffirmed that.

“We are keen not to take any business away from the town.”

It is expected that a planning application will be submitted to the local authority by the end of next month, with those behind the plans hoping for a decision before the end of the year.

If the scheme is given the green light, construction on the site could begin early in the New Year, with the “tight” two-year build schedule seeing both the “budget-style” hotel and care home open in 2021.

Mr Ford also confirmed that there was an agreement, subject to planning approval, to buy out James Mitchell Cars from its current premises.

And he said there had been offers for the hotel site from “two or three national chains”, adding: “It would not take a lot to work out who they are.” He said people had been “generally positive” about the plans and thanked everyone who attended the consultation for their contributions.

Mr Finc, who also attended January’s meeting of the town’s community council, said he would get back in touch with the group and arrange a workshop to discuss the plans further.