A LOCAL charity said it will be objecting to recent plans for a National Marine Centre at North Berwick Harbour.

The North Berwick Harbour Trust Association said it will formally object to the plans submitted to East Lothian Council by the Scottish Seabird Centre.

The proposals concern a £5.5million national marine centre on the East Lothian coast to transform the existing attraction into a national hub, showcasing marine life.

Conservationists say the project will enhance education and conservation programmes across Scotland. The centre currently welcomes 4,000 school children a year and lead projects like SOS Puffin.

The North Berwick Harbour Trust Association said that while it supports the concept of the centre, the current plans will have a “significant detrimental impact on the current facilities at the Harbour”.

Chairwoman, Jane McMinn, said: “North Berwick Harbour Trust Association is disappointed that SSC has submitted plans to East Lothian Council to develop a National Marine Centre at the Harbour, despite their repeated request for a sufficient period for consideration and consultation.”

“We will be formally objecting to these plans, which as recognised by SSC are set to fundamentally and irrevocably alter the Harbour and are likely to jeopardise the activity that takes place there. I would encourage local residents to carefully consider the plans.”

Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said they had been working on the plans for several years.

He said: “National, regional and local consultation and collaboration have been central to this process.

"We have undertaken extensive research and taken on board comments to ensure that the Centre will be a valuable asset for North Berwick, East Lothian and Scotland.

“Following public consultations, the original Seabird Centre architects, Simpson & Brown, produced a revised proposal to house the new Centre. They strongly believe that this will enhance their existing award-winning building as well as the adjacent Education Centre.

He added: "We look forward to continuing to work with all interested parties to ensure that the new Centre brings important benefits locally and nationally.”