Without farmers people would be ‘hungry, sober and naked’

Tuesday May 2nd 2023


The derelict farm buildings at Seton East which will be replaced with new storage shed.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

People would be ‘hungry, sober and naked’ without farmers, a councillor warned colleagues after a home-owner objected to a shed being built next to their house.

A meeting of East Lothian Council’s planning committee heard the residents of a house next to farm land at Seton East were concerned by the plans to build an agricultural shed on it which they said would block sunlight from their garden.

However Councillor Donna Collins, who is herself a farmer, dismissed the objections telling councillors: “Without farmers everybody here would be hungry, sober and naked.”

The application for the storage shed said it would replace existing buildings which were no longer fit for purpose.

The derelict buildings lie between Seton East House, which was formerly the farmhouse and is now a private residence and cottages created from former farm steadings and would be demolished and replaced with the shed which will be up to 9.3 metres in height at its ridge.

The committee heard an objection had been lodged by people in the neighbouring house who said the size of the shed so close to residential properties would be ‘detrimental to residential amenity”.

They also said it would impact on sunlight into neighbouring homes and could have an impact on future plans to install solar panels in the residences.

However planning convenor Norman Hampshire supported the application pointing out the building which would be demolished was derelict and would fall down unless something was done.

And he said the issues raised were a common theme across East Lothian where former farm steadings were being turned into homes and sold privately to people who do not realise the work which will continue around them.

He said: “When people buy property in the countryside they have to accept the operations which take place and that is what is happening here.

“I think this is appropriate for the location. It is a working farm and if this is needed for its operations then it is something we need to support.”

The committee unanimously approved the planning application for the shed

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