MORE than 200 jobs would be created at a major roadside services development planned off the A1 at Gladsmuir.

Euro Garages Ltd has submitted a planning application to East Lothian Council to transform the former Raceland go-karting and paintball centre site which closed in January.

Their plans for a petrol station with shop, a drive-thru coffee shop, and two drive-thru restaurants would bring as-yet-unspecified big-name fast-food outlets to the county as well as 200-plus jobs.

A 4.5-acre section of land, to the north of the site and running alongside the B6363, which links Longniddry and Pencaitland, has been set aside for a future development phase, which could include a hotel.

Euro Garages Ltd are hopeful East Lothian councillors on the local authority’s planning committee will rule on the proposals in January next year.

Tom Jeremiah, of Euro Garages Ltd, said: “Discussions with the council have shown that employment opportunities in this area of East Lothian are limited, especially for young people who are looking for flexible work.

“Our plans would deliver 208 jobs in a range of full and part-time roles which would allow people to live and work in East Lothian, rather than having to travel to Edinburgh for employment. Our current proposals only cover half of the site and there remains an opportunity to deliver further employment-generating development in the future. However, we are still considering how best to take this forward.”

The plans show a service station with 10 fuel pumps for cars and vans, with a further three pumps for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV). There would also be two fast-food drive-thru restaurants, as well as a coffee shop drive-thru. It is unclear which businesses would fill the units, although Euro Garages regularly partner with Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, Subway and Greggs in the past.

About 105 parking spaces would also be created on the site, which would include electric vehicle charging points and disabled bays.

Mr Jeremiah added: “This section of the A1 is not well-served by roadside facilities, which is potentially dangerous for drivers who are not able to take adequate breaks to rest, relax and refuel before continuing their journey.

“This location is ideal for the type of services proposed, with a large, vacant brownfield site accessed by the existing Gladsmuir Junction.

“As a result, the works needed to deliver this site are more limited and we would hope to start construction by mid-2019 and complete building within six months, should planning permission be granted.”

Established in 2001, EG Group has 370 roadside services throughout the UK, as well as approximately 6,500 in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and the US.

The business employs more than 7,000 people in the UK alone.

Tranent/Macmerry ward member Councillor Kenny McLeod, who is part of the council’s planning committee, said it was “disappointing” to lose Raceland but felt the idea of a petrol station and other facilities was worth being considered.

East Lothian MSP Iain Gray was hopeful a number of local people could find employment – if the scheme gets the go ahead.

He said: “The closure of Raceland was disappointing for many people who had enjoyed their experience there over the years.

“However, the plans submitted for the site look as though they might help improve services for both local people and those travelling through East Lothian on the A1, as well as potentially creating a large number of local jobs.

“Obviously there is some way to go with the development of the site, but I certainly hope that the number of jobs being suggested will materialise as the plans move forward.”

Maureen Cuthill, chairwoman of Macmerry and Gladsmuir Community Council, felt “it could only be a good thing” for the area.

She said: “I don’t think it is going to encroach on Macmerry or Gladsmuir or anywhere.