A MAIN route into Musselburgh is to close for eight days to allow essential utility works to take place for a major new development at Old Craighall.

The B6415 from Monktonhall Place to Musselburgh Services roundabout closes from midnight on Monday and is due to run until the end of August 13.

The council said it has held extensive discussions with the contractor GTC, working on behalf of Persimmon Homes, to agree a 24-hour work programme that coordinates gas and power works to minimise disruption in the area.

A council spokesperson said: "This closure is essential to put in place the utilities infrastructure required to support major new developments in the area. 

"The contractor originally applied for a three week closure period. 

"However our priority is to minimise disruption to residents and drivers so we have negotiated a 24-hour work programme that coordinates utility services to ensure this work is completed quickly and ahead of the schools' returning."

Diversion signs will be in place throughout the works. A copy of the road closure notice (TTRO 270/19/HT) is available online from www.tellmescotland.gov.uk

Following discussions, Prentice Coaches has confirmed that it will operate the 111 service as normal to Tesco, then operate via Eskview Terrace, Monktonhall Terrace, Mayfield Crescent, Stoneybank Crescent, Whitehill Farm Road, QMU, Clayknowes Road to the Fort Kinnaird, the Wisp and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

The council will arrange a free shuttle bus from Old Craighall to the ERI along the 111 service route. Passengers wanting to travel to Musselburgh from Old Craighall, Millerhill and Newton Village can use the shuttle service to the ERI and transfer to the 111 service ERI-Musselburgh. The shuttle bus will run as per the existing 111 timetable. 

Further work is planned from the service area roundabout on the B6415 south west to the Midlothian boundary.

Discussions are still ongoing with the contractor to agree traffic management for this section.

Planning permission in principle was granted for a mixed use development at Old Craighall including 1,500 homes, a primary school, business space, community facilities, public parks and playing fields, an innovation hub for business and for other employment land.

A separate application, also by Persimmon Homes, for detailed planning permission for 370 houses and 103 flats on the Old Craighall site was also approved at the meeting of East Lothian Council’s Planning Committee earlier this year.

The application for the mixed use development at Old Craighall, as allocated in the Local Development Plan, was submitted following community consultation including a public event at The Brunton, Musselburgh. 

The total site is 116.5 hectares and refers to land around Queen Margaret University (QMU) and Musselburgh railway station and to the north and south of the A1.

The plans include improvements to the junction off the A1 at QMU as well as the creation of pedestrian and cycle routes including the council’s Segregated Active Travel Corridor.

The Innovation Hub at QMT is part of the multi-million pound Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal, which will contribute to the joint development between East Lothian Council and QMU.

The hub will facilitate an expansion of the university’s existing Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation and will also provide flexible commercial space for small and medium sized businesses in the food and drink sector.

Council officers had recommended granting of permission in principle for the two applications with conditions and a Section 75 agreement to fund transport infrastructure improvements, contributions for the new primary school and for secondary education provision and for community pitches.

Planning committee members unanimously agreed to approve both applications.

The permission granted for the first phase of housing on the Old Craighall site includes 118 affordable units.