The decision by the Scottish Government’s Reporter to allow Springfield Properties’ appeal to succeed against a stop notice served by East Lothian Council concerning the construction of 19 houses at a former garage site at Westbank Road, Macmerry, does at least clarify the future of this site in planning terms.

However, the reaction to the Reporter’s decision from Springfield Properties chairman Mr Sandy Adam, expressed through an undignified and churlish press release, is regrettable in the extreme.

Despite the spin he puts on matters, Springfield Properties has never really engaged with residents of Macmerry and in particular their elected members and community council. In particular, no planning reason was ever given to the community as to why the company withdrew the application they submitted and then attempted to action the original planning permission which, in the opinion of the planners, had lapsed. In the eyes of many this was a better application than the original one.

Mr Adam may have won a victory thanks to a developer-friendly Reporter, but it is a Pyrrhic victory. For all his bluster, residents of Macmerry have been left as confused as I have regarding Springfield Properties’ conduct in this matter.

Lessons need to learned from this matter and, in my opinion, Springfield Properties have more to learn than others.

Councillor Donald Grant East Lothian Council’s cabinet spokesperson for health & social care