PLANS to create new slip roads off the A1 and create an underpass have been lodged by East Lothian Council.

The changes to the road are being carried out to allow major development surrounding Queen Margaret University (QMU) at Musselburgh to go ahead.

Currently the only way to get to the university from the A1 is from the eastbound carriageway, heading from Edinburgh into East Lothian.

The new slip roads will create an access and exit route on the westbound carriageway, with a new underpass built beneath the main road and new roundabout built to the west of it.

Drawings of the proposals have been lodged by the council with its own planning department.

The application states that the proposals will “complete a junction commenced in 2004 through planning approval that was to access land used for agriculture which could be developed affording opportunities for employment land”.

More than 116 hectares of land around the university, straddling the A1, has been given the go-ahead for a major mixed use development.

As well as 1,500 new homes, there are proposals for an innovation hub connected to the university itself, business and commercial spaces, a primary school and public spaces.

It is anticipated that the innovation hub could create up to 1,000 new jobs in the area and it has secured funding from the Edinburgh and South East of Scotland City Deal.

However, it has been accepted that the new development will need upgrades to the access points from the A1, leading to the plans being lodged.

The cost and timescale of the new project is unclear. The council  said: “Until due planning process is complete, we cannot advise on costs and  timescales.”

Barry Turner, of Musselburgh Conservation Society, said: “This proposal is an essential development of this junction, enabling direct access to QMU and the proposed business park from the east.

“It also opens up the area to the south of the A1 for development, though the conservation society would prefer to see this area left as open fields.”