SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is hoping to have a planning obligation to contribute £400,000 for education in Musselburgh thrown out.

The company says it no longer owns land – the site of its former store at Mall Avenue – which is to be turned into 140 flats by a developer.

Tesco has applied to East Lothian Council to modify a contract which was part of an earlier planning consent for residential development at the town centre site, dating back to 2008.

The sum of £400,000 had to be given for extra accommodation at Musselburgh Burgh Primary School and Musselburgh Grammar School.

Pritchett Planning Consultancy, on behalf of Tesco Stores Limited, said Tesco now owned and operated the supermarket and petrol filling station at Olivebank Road.

It stated: “Tesco was previously involved in a land transaction which enabled residential development to be constructed on the site of the former Tesco store site. This transaction took place over a decade ago and the land of the residential development site is not owned by Tesco.

“The section 75 agreement states that Tesco Stores Limited shall pay an education contribution relating to a residential development on land identified as the third subjects.

“Tesco has no ownership of the subject site and is not involved in any way in developing the land for residential purposes.”

The document added: “This proposed modification to the section 75 agreement by Tesco seeks to remove Tesco’s name from the agreement and to replace this with the ‘third proprietors’ as owners of the residential land on the third subject site.

“In making this change, the agreement would be more aligned with government policy on legal obligations as the agreement would bind the landowner to which the agreement relates rather than a third party which has no involvement in the land or its development.”