A HIGH-SPEED rail link, operational port and a zero-carbon new town are included in a vision of East Lothian’s future being put forward by its council.

A draft submission to the Scottish Government by East Lothian Council outlines proposals for either a four-track rail expansion on the existing East Coast Main Line or an extension to the High Speed Rail Network to bring the HS2 project into Scotland.

It calls for the former Cockenzie Power Station site and land allocated to the new town of Blindwells to be given the status of areas of national importance.

And it urges the Scottish Government to include the sites and surrounding land in its National Planning Framework (NPF), describing the development of them as the “largest opportunity” in Scotland.

The submission, which is part of a consultation as the Scottish Government draws up NPF4, describes the Blindwells development area as unique and calls for it to be given the important status to protect its future.

In total, 540 hectares of land have been earmarked for the new town, which the council wants to see as carbon neutral.

Neighbouring the Blindwells land is the former Cockenzie Power Station site, which was bought by East Lothian Council almost two years ago.

The power station site covers about 70 hectares but despite a public consultation and the production of a masterplan for its future use, nothing has come forward for the site from the local authority so far.

In their submission to the Scottish Government, council officers say: “The Blindwells new town development area and former power station site taken together are 625 hectares, the vast majority of which is previously developed land.

“This is likely the largest such opportunity in Scotland. Over 30 years these projects could enable significant new employment and economic development opportunities.”

It adds: “Although the package of uses for Cockenzie continues to be explored, there will be a focus on employment, and low and zero carbon energy, and there could be a focus on a port and sustainable construction.”

The submission adds to the council’s ambition with the possibility of HS2 coming north through the county, creating a new railway station and links.

It says: “Proposals for four-tracking the East Coast Main Line or for delivering an extension to the High Speed Rail Network to Scotland, which could deliver a new railway station and all-purpose overbridge of the rail line, should be included in the NPF.”

The submission will be presented to councillors at a meeting this week for approval.