LAND off the A1 at Gladsmuir, previously earmarked for a hotel, could instead become a builders’ merchants, creating more than 20 jobs.

The former Raceland karting site, between Gladsmuir and Longniddry, closed in early 2018.

Work is due to start later this year on a petrol station, two drive-thru restaurants and a drive-thru cafe on the southern section of the site.

Initial proposals suggested a hotel could be built on the northern part of the former karting site, where the outdoor track was located, but that could now be ditched for a builders’ merchants.

The karting centre was given planning permission in 1990 and also operated a paintball centre. However, the business closed three years ago and Monte Blackburn Ltd bought the site.

Now, the Blackburn-based owners want a builders’ merchant to be based there, with MKM Building Supplies, which previously planned to move to Gateside in Haddington before opting against the switch “due to the perceived impact on the surrounding residential area”, earmarked as the occupier.

A children’s nursery and care home could now be built on the Haddington Gateside site, with a planning application being weighed up by East Lothian Council.

The developer behind the proposed builders’ merchants acknowledged that there had been “a long-standing requirement for a site in East Lothian for several years”.

A search of Tranent, Macmerry and Haddington was undertaken in a bid to find a suitable site for the business.

An application for the Gladsmuir site is now with East Lothian Council’s planning department.

A planning statement which was included within the application said: “Planning permission is sought for the erection of a building for use as a builders’ merchants.

“If planning permission is granted, the end occupier will be MKM Building Supplies, a national company with approximately 60 stores throughout the UK.

“MKM Building Supplies is a Hull-based company, established in 1985, and is the largest independent builders’ merchant. In Scotland there are a total of 11 MKM branches, with the nearest branch to the application site being in central Edinburgh (at Murrayburn Road).”

A “warehouse-style building”, about eight metres high, would be created on the site. Outside would be “a large hard-surfaced service yard/storage area”, with the site surrounding by fencing.

The planning statement suggests about 23 new jobs would be created.

In September last year, McDonald’s was given permission for various signs highlighting a potential restaurant on the site. Drawings suggested Greggs, Subway, Starbucks and KFC could join them at the former go-kart track site, although East Lothian Council stressed that the businesses listed in the image could change.

Last year, a spokeswoman for KFC told the Courier: “We’ll be winging our way to East Lothian early next year – watch this space!”

It is anticipated that the roadside services development will commence later this year.