A BID to build a new £15m home for historic planes including Concorde has been thrown out after it was ruled ancient trees should not be chopped down.

National Museums of Scotland (NMS) wanted to build a 60ft tall hangar for the world famous supersonic jet and two other aircraft.

The proposal would also have seen construction of a new visitor centre, cafe and shop at the National Museum of Flight which would have seen around £7.3m pumped into the local economy and provided 40 jobs.

However fury erupted when it emerged the plans involved the felling of 299 trees in woodland near to the East Lothian site.

More than 200 people wrote letters of complaint while over 6,500 people signed a petition against the move.

Bosses of the popular museum pledged to replace the woodland in a new area to the south of the site with 1,000 plants and 788 new trees.

But planners at East Lothian Council rejected their application earlier this year after ruling it breached the council’s strategy on climate change.

It was argued it would take 15 years for any new trees to equal the current impact on the area’s carbon footprint being provided by the existing trees.

Museum chiefs appealed to the Scottish Government in a bid to have it overturned but have been left ‘extremely disappointed’ by the decision to uphold the original decision.

A petition against the plans set up by The Woodland Trust and Rewilding East Lothian said: “At a time of climate emergency and with wildlife habitats already in rapid decline it is extremely shortsighted to chop down a mature swathe of wood.

“Planting young trees as a ‘replacement’ is not sufficient. It takes decades for a woodland to reach maturity and The Woodland Trust describes what is planned by The Museum Of Flight as nothing less than ‘direct loss of irreplaceable ancient woodland’.

“We call on National Museums of Scotland, who run the Museum Of Flight, to abandon this plan.”

Government reporter Elspeth Cook said: “The representations before me highlight the public sensitivity of this project and whilst there is a cross section of reasons given fundamentally it is the loss of the woodland area that is at the heart of their concerns.

“No immediate loss of carbon sequestration is considered acceptable to them, or the council, even if there are longer term benefits offered by the compensatory planting.”

She added: “I therefore conclude, for the reasons set out above, that the proposed development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and that there are no material considerations which would still justify granting planning permission.”

A National Museums of Scotland spokeswoman said: “We are extremely disappointed that our appeal in respect of planning permission for our proposed development for the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian has been rejected.

“We will now review our position and consider an alternative way forward.”