AN “EYESORE” site next to a hotel at Edinburgh Service Area at Old Craighall could be set for a revamp.

The Motor Fuel Group has applied to East Lothian Council for planning permission to build a coffee shop with drive-thru and create additional car parking.

There would also be a new dedicated entrance to serve the adjacent Travelodge hotel.

More than 10 jobs would be created as a result of the development.

The hotel used to share an entrance with the now vacant Burger King and Little Chef restaurants, which closed several years ago.

The site is located close to Old Craighall Roundabout which connects the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass to the A1.

North of the site is the B6415 that connects to Monktonhall and then Musselburgh beyond, with the town centre 2.5km from the service area.

Tony Thomas, director of East Linton-based APT Planning and Development, said: “The plan is to demolish part of the original building complex that previously housed Burger King and Little Chef, and create a more dedicated and convenient car park for the Travelodge.

“On the western part of the site we are proposing a drive-thru coffee outlet. Apart from that, the site will be landscaped and upgraded.”

He said that the current petrol station there, also owned by the Motor Fuel Company, would remain in use.

Mr Thomas could not yet say which company would run the drive-thru coffee shop; however, an image of the proposed outlet shows a logo for Starbucks.

He said it was hoped the work would be completed within a year if planning consent was granted.

A landscape design report, submitted with the planning application, said the “enhanced car park arrangement” would provide nine accessible parking bays close to the building entrances and five electric car charging points.

East Lothian Courier:

It added: “With the proposed coffee shop there is an opportunity to provide two areas of external seating – these have been carefully sited to maximise a south-facing aspect so that visitors can make the most of sunshine.

“Both of these seating areas have plant beds located close by.

“These beds will help to create a sense of enclosure.

"These plant beds will be planted with a variety of trees, shrubs and hardy perennial plants that will provide seasonal interest.

“The plants will also help to screen any queuing cars into the drive-thru.

“To the front of the retained Travelodge building, we have proposed another plant bed, planted with native trees – birch and rowan – and robust groundcover.

“Elsewhere in the new car park, we have looked to punctuate the space with street trees; these trees will help to provide vertical structure to the space.

“The proposals look to retain the dense group of semi-mature trees to the west of the site.

“To the north of the site there is a row of sycamore trees that will also be retained.

“With the demolition of the building, there will be a gap in these trees and it is proposed that an additional four sycamore trees are planted to complete the row.

“These trees will work as a buffer between the new car park and the road.

“To make way for the development we are proposing to remove five small trees within the car park that have failed to establish.”

Other tree planting will take place around the site.

Irene Tait, chair of Musselburgh & Inveresk Community Council, welcomed the plan, saying: “It is an eyesore at the moment and something needed to be done for a while – as long as the landscaping fits in with the rest of the area.”

Ward councillor Stuart Currie, who is not a member of the council’s planning committee, added: “A big part of the site has been lying empty for some time and has become a real eyesore.

“The entire site is already set up as a drive-thru facility alongside the hotel so, as long as it’s contained within the current boundary [I’m happy to support it].

“It will create jobs and be brought back into full use from a boarded-up building.”

Kenny MacAskill, East Lothian’s MP, said: “There seems merit in it.

"It’s a gap site and the facilities would enhance the area.

“As long as it abides by any criteria set by council, the work and project seem welcome.”