ONE of Scotland's most picturesque villages is under threat after plans were drawn up for 200 new homes to be built on its outskirts, residents have said.

A campaign has been launched in Gullane, East Lothian, against the proposal by developer Cala Homes, which would see the size of the village increase by a third.

Campaigners have accused the developer of 'Calacide', and warn that the village's quiet streets will be changed completely by the sudden influx of families, while local infrastructure will be stretched to breaking point.

There are also concerns that the sites identified, one at Fenton Gate to the east and one at Salcoats Field to the south east, will take up valuable arable land.

However, Keith Anderson, spokesman for the GOOD: Gullane in Opposition to Over-development campaign said that people would rather see a smaller-scale development of a former fire training school inside the village, which is currently derelict, than the sudden construction of so many homes on its periphery.

He said: “Gullane is an idyllic village, with a strong community feel, and this will turn us into a giant executive housing estate”

"Some might think these residents are “Nimbies” but nothing could be further from the truth. they welcome development plans for the now defunct fire training school - a potentially extremely interesting, mixed development of flats, small houses and office space.

"But they also value their responsibility of being surrounded by top class arable land, a precious commodity that is predicted to become even more needed in the foreseeable future."

He added: "This community has grown at a sustainable pace over the past 30 years. Now it is proposed that it is should explode by 30 per cent of its present size."

Gullane, a magnet for golfers and tourists due to its proximity to the Open Championship course at Muirfield and the many other courses in the area, is home to around 4,000 people.

Dating back to at least the 800s when a church was established there, the village is dominated by many large villas and townhouses, along with family homes.

Campaign Spokeswoman Clare Cavers, a former childminder and Chairwoman of the Parent-Teacher Association, said that local amenities would not be able to cope with a large influx of new people to the area.

She said: "I have lived in Gullane for 12 years and moved here with a one-year-old from Edinburgh. I have been involved with the toddlers group and set up the playgroup.

"We have seen the number of young children in the village increase in the last few years to the point where the school is at capacity, and any increase in population will have a significant impact on the situation.

"The medical centre is also at struggling to recruit GPs, and is almost at capacity itself. There's just not a lot of room for growth."

She added: "It would completely change the character of the village."

Cala Homes have made two applications in principle to East Lothian Council, but have yet to submit detailed plans for approval.

The firm is currently embarking on a series of public meetings and holding consultations with local residents.

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said that they were of the campaign against the development, but could not comment on the two applications, which could go before the council later in the year.

No one was available from Cala Homes to comment.