WORK to ensure a former opencast coal mine is ready for more than 1,500 houses is being carried out.

Planning permission for homes at Blindwells, which is sandwiched between the A1 north of Tranent and the A198 south of Cockenzie, was granted in spring last year.

Iain Slater, development and estates director of landowners Hargreaves, said: “The work you can see on site is the initial site set up for the land remediation works.

“We are currently in negotiations with two housebuilders for the first plots, which we hope will be available later in the year.”

Improvements will also see a new access road to the site created, coming off the roundabout to the north of the A1 at Bankton Junction.

I&H Brown’s civil engineering division has been awarded the earthworks contract, which began last month and will last for over three years.