Marine centre plans suffer setback

Puffin crop

East Lothian Council has rejected plans to transform the Scottish Seabird Centre

8th November 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Ambitious plans for a bird centre to undergo a transformation have been knocked back by councillors.

The Scottish Seabird Centre submitted a planning application to transform its existing premises into a new national marine centre.

However the £5.5 million plan was rejected by East Lothian Council this week due to adverse visual impacts on the historic settings of North Berwick.

Centre chief executive Tom Brock said: "It has taken many years to get to this stage and to receive a refusal from the planning committee is very disappointing.

"However, we have been greatly encouraged by the widespread support for the concept of a national marine centre that aims to inform and inspire people about Scotland's amazing marine wildlife and highlights the need to look after it for future generations.

"We will take on board recommendations and we are reviewing plans to identify the best way forward."

The plans included the creation of a new visitor centre with an observatory. However more than 350 objections were raised against the plans – compared to 215 letters of support.

The Scottish Seabird Centre opened in May 2000 and is established as a significant tourist destination and local community resource with 270,000 visitors annually and a membership base of 7,000.