A NEW £1million base for street cleaners and grounds maintenance staff will be built at Meadowmill in preparation for the planned new town at nearby Blindwells.

Plans to demolish the current groundcare depot at Meadowmill, near Tranent, and replace it with a new facility have been revealed in papers by East Lothian Council officials.

The demolition of the depot is required after a survey found the current building, which has been in place since the 1970s, was “structurally unstable”.

The 18 staff based at the depot have been temporarily relocated to accommodation in the grounds of the nearby former St Joseph’s School, which the council bought in July 2015 for just over £2million.

The contract for demolishing the building, which sits between Meadowmill Sports Centre and East Lothian Golf Range, has been given to local firm RM Brown, which won the tender with a bid of just over £32,000.

In a report on the contract, it said the budget for demolition and additional water supply work was £35,000 while the cost of building the new depot would be £965,000.

A council spokesperson said the existing depot served the needs of the Preston, Seton and Gosford ward in terms of street sweeping and grounds maintenance services, housing a team of local staff who maintain the surrounding community’s open spaces.

They said: “The building reached the end of its operational life and, considering the future needs of the service, it was decided these could be best served by construction of a new facility on the existing site.

“Accordingly the staff have been temporarily relocated to the St Joseph’s facility to allow the existing building to be demolished and a new facility built there.

“After demolition commences there will be a period of site investigation prior to a contract being put out to tender to construct the new facility.

“The new facility will be designed with the expansion of housing in the area in mind, trying to build in capacity to meet the additional maintenance needs that settlements such as Blindwells will bring.”