A REVISED plan to build just 300 houses at the controversial Goshen Farm site has been rejected by Prestonpans Community Council amid concerns there was no guarantee the development would not increase over time.

Steve McGarva, who is leading the project for site owners Ashfield Land, attended a meeting of the community council to present the revised plans, last month.

Ashfield had initially proposed building 1200 homes on the 120-acre site but after strong protests which led to East Lothian Council removing the land from its draft Local Development Plan, it withdrew that proposal.

In January this year the site owners and housebuilders Barratt David Wilson Homes, jointly produced a new proposal which would build on just 30 acres of the site.

Mr McGarva admitted to the community council that Goshen Farm had been a "rollercoaster of a journey" for the company.

And while he said there were no guarantees that additional housing would not be applied for on the site at a later date, he said their new proposal would create wide boundaries around the new housing.

He was challenged by community councillors over the condition of a wall which runs along the boundary of the site and has been subject to complaints amid claims it is not being maintained properly.

But he insisted remedial work was being carried out at the wall, before suggesting more would be done, if the plans went ahead.

Mr McGarva said: "We have spent quite a lot of money on that wall, we spent £5,000 last year and £8,000 this year. We demolished areas that were considered dangerous.

"I can give you an assurance that if we get planning permission we will repair the wall."

Mr McGarva also told the community council that Goshen was a preferred site for housing because of its links to the A1 and public transport links.

And when he was questioned about how the already-crammed trains were going to be able to cope with additional commuters from Goshen, he claimed moves were underway to improve the rail service.

He told the community council: "Lots of work is being done, longer platforms with the first two carriages stopping at one platform and the back two stopping at another station."

ScotRail has said it has no knowledge of plans to stagger carriage access on the east coast line.

However a spokesperson said: "More six carriage trains are on the way with the introduction of our new class 385 trains in the coming months."

Community councillor Finlay Lockie who previously said some housing at Goshen was "inevitable" said he remained of the opinion that the Scottish Government Reporter would overturn any rejection of the latest plans.

He said: "There is a very generalised view outside the council that Blindwells is not deliverable. If that is true then if this (planning application) goes to the Reporter it will be given the go ahead."

However fellow community council DJ Johnston-Smith said: "I have not heard anything to change our existing views. There is no benefit to our community. I am not convinced by their reluctance to repair the wall."

Brian Weddell, community council chairman, reminded members that their previous position had been to oppose any development of Goshen.

The community council voted by 10 votes to 3 to object.