HIGHLAND soldiers sliding down waterslides to confront Redcoats in a swimming pool would be the result of plans to put a water park on a historic battle site, it has been claimed.

The Battle of Prestonpans Trust has hit out at plans by East Lothian Council to include part of the 1745  battlefield site in its vision for a ClimatEvolution Zone.

The local authority's proposals would see a water park created as part of an innovative way to deal with groundwater from the new town of Blindwells which is beginning to be built inland from the former Cockenzie Power Station and battle site.

In its vision it describes a network of waterways and a water park or lido where people could kayak or take part in water sports.

However the Trust has hit out at the proposals whcih it says will "much of the battlefield" south of Cockenzie and Port Seton underwater.

And  Dr Gordon Prestoungrange, one of its founding members, said it conjured up ludicrous images of future battle re-enactments.

He said: "The Trust always believes in planning for the best but expecting the worst.

"But we would find it difficult to come to terms with a water park on the actual battlefield such that re-enactments would require Highlanders to descend water slides to confront redcoats in the pool performing synchronised military manoeuvres before flight.... as one social media wag has already suggested. "

The Trust has written to the council to raise its concerns about the proposals which have been submitted to the Scottish Government in a bid to have the area given National Development status.

Arguing against the water park site and proposals to extend development eastwards from neighbouring Prestonpans into another part of the battle site, they said: "The battlefield is recognised as a uniquely high value intangible heritage asset and it should be preserved as such not only because of the benefits it will afford for the community but because it is integral to the national and international significance of the battle fought thereon for both the victorious Jacobites and the Hanoverian succession."

The Battle of Prestonpans was the first major battle of the last Jacobite Rising and took place on September 21, 1745.

The Jacobite army loyal to King James Francis Edward Stuart and led by his son Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) achieved a dramatic victory over the Redcoat army loyal to the Hanoverian king, George II, which was led by Sir John Cope.

The battle took place in fields between Prestonpans, Tranent, Cockenzie and Port Seton. The victory was a huge morale boost for the Jacobites, and despite their ultimate defeat the following year the battle left an important cultural legacy.

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said: “We are consulting on an emerging vision for a wide area around Blindwells, the former Cockenzie Power Station site and the surrounding communities as part of a proposal for a fresh national development area here.

"The vision seeks to draw on the assets of this place and to turn challenges into opportunities for the benefit of people, place, the environment, climate and economy.

"The suggestion for a water based facility is just one idea that could make use of water assets in the area in a way that could deliver such multiple benefits, including an enhanced setting for habitat, biodiversity, leisure and health and well-being, while also offering potential for heritage interpretation.

"All ideas are subject to public consultation and nothing at this stage is set in stone.

"This is why we want as many groups and individuals as possible to give us their views so they can be considered and help shape the proposals.

"It’s useful to emphasise that the proposals do promote the area’s cultural heritage and this very much includes the Battle of Prestonpans.

"Any proposals in this area will also be subject to further detailed technical work and consultation.”

The council proposals are currently out for public consultation and can be found at eastlothianconsultations.co.uk/housing-environment/climatevolution