Scottish Seabird Centre's £5.5m transformation rejected
East Lothian Council says the expansion would have a detrimental impact on North Berwick.
The Scottish Seabird Centre's transformation into a new national marine centre have been rejected by councillors.
The £5.5m scheme would have expanded the existing site in North Berwick, East Lothian.
It included plans for a new visitor centre for school groups and an observatory enabling a 360-degree view of the landscape.
Planning officials at East Lothian Council had recommended the development be refused, citing "adverse visual impacts" on the town's historic character.
On Tuesday, a majority of the council's planning committee voted to refuse the application.
Council papers said 353 people had raised objections to the new centre, while 215 had said they were in support of it.
A report to the planning committee said: "The economic benefits are not sufficient to outweigh the significant detrimental visual impact that the proposed development would have on the character of the North Berwick conservation area."
The proposed facility would have showcased Scotland's marine life above and below the waves, including seabirds.
The Scottish Seabird Centre's chief executive Tom Brock said: "It has taken many years to get to this stage and to receive a refusal from the planning committee is very disappointing.
"However, we have been greatly encouraged by the widespread support for the concept of a national marine centre that aims to inform and inspire people about Scotland's amazing marine wildlife and highlights the need to look after it for future generations.
"We will take on board recommendations and we are reviewing plans to identify the best way forward."