A farmer has been told he cannot go ahead with plans to add a shed to his business without council approval because the land lies on a historic battle site.
Plans for a new agricultural shed at Whitecraig Farm in Cowpits raised objections from East Lothian Council officials because it will be on the Battle of Pinkie site and also on a scheduled monument.
Agents for the farmer notified the local authority of the proposal to erect the building, which would be 12m by 12m large and 4.6m high, behind farm buildings already on the site.
However, council officers have responded that no building can go ahead without their approval, ruling it will need planning permission.
The decision comes a month after elected councillors overturned a decision by officers to refuse planning permission to a ten-metre high grain store on a farm next to Traprain Law, which is listed as a Special Landscape Area.
The Local Review Body, which heard an appeal against the refusal, ruled that farm buildings were “part of East Lothian’s landscape”.
Councillor Lachlan Bruce, chairperson of the body, said at the time: “Traprain Law is one of the great sites in East Lothian. I think part of East Lothian’s landscape is that it is worked in land and lived in land.
“It is not as if we are putting something alien into the landscape.”
The Conservative group opposition leader, councillor Jane Henderson, this week called for a review of the council’s suspension of meetings during the lockdown, suggesting virtual meetings could be held.
She said: “We firmly believe that this must be done urgently to ensure that the public has confidence in planning decisions.
“This is essential to prevent decisions being taking behind closed doors: or not being taken at all, which is likely to lead to decisions being taken by the Scottish Government reporter on grounds of non-determination.”
Raising an objection to the proposals for Whitecraig Farm, officers said that the shed was not a permitted development because of its location and cannot go ahead without planning permission.
And they said permission would need to be sought from Historic Environment Scotland before a planning application could go in because it also lies on Monktonhall Junction, which is a scheduled monument.
The site is protected because of a series of Roman camps and prehistoric settlements present on the land.
The Battle of Pinkie took place on September 10, 1547 and was the last pitched battled between Scotland and England prior to the union.
Scotland suffered a catastrophic loss on the day, which became known as Black Saturday.
By Local Democracy Reporter Marie Sharp