Following the tidal wave of opposition to the proposed ‘retirement village’ on Castleton Farm, between Glen Golf Club and the A198, east of North Berwick, the development team has moved the proposed site across the road to the south of the A198.

Although detailed plans will not be submitted until after the public consultation, scheduled for May 20, it is possible at this early stage to find copious conflicts with the East Lothian Local Development Plan (adopted September 2018).

That particular scrutiny can wait. In the meantime, I’d like to comment on a few points arising from the Courier’s report of April 11.

It was not until the public consultation for the previous PAN was held that it became clear that the driving force behind the development was BUPA. This latest proposal shows the developers as Richmond Care Village Holdings Ltd – part of BUPA.

One has to wonder why BUPA fights shy of revealing its involvement.

The proposal, we are led to believe, will “act as a hub for local people”, although the site is outside the town boundary, separated from the town’s latest development, Barley Brae, by half a mile of open countryside.

The proposal boasts “community health centre, community hub and outdoor recreational uses” (in addition to wellness facilities, as per the managing director for Richmond Villages). These facilities are for the benefit of the village residents and will not be available to the wider community.

Finally, the relevance of “residents aged over 55” in the context of the 150 private accommodation units has to be questioned. Perhaps some over-55s will be retired, many will not be, and may have up to 10 years before attaining retirement age.

Such a development will only place the same pressure on North Berwick’s overstretched infrastructure as would any other major development, with the exception of education.

Don’t be fooled: this is a major housing development in the form of what is, to all intents and purposes, a private, gated community. It can have only a detrimental effect on our town and local environment.

Keith Young

Bass Rock View

North Berwick