An eleven point action plan for the "regeneration and enhancement" of Musselburgh has been drawn up by conservation watchdogs.

The list of priorities by has been sent to all members of East Lothian Council's planning committee as well as the town's four councillors - Andy Forrest, Cher Cassini, Ruaridh Bennett and Shona McIntosh - by Musselburgh Conservation Society

The group urged that priority be given to the regeneration of the High Street, particularly bringing the Old Town Hall and Tolbooth into "full and accessible use." This could include both community and business activities, the latter providing income for ongoing maintenance of the building.

The society wants the council to deal with the "dereliction and decay" of the former Strand pub in the High Street, as well as creating "an attractive town square" adjacent to the Old Town Hall.

The plan, which was initiated by Musselburgh Conservation Society committee member Barry Turner, a former East Lothian Council planning committee chairman, calls for "urgent action" in delivering a development of the former Tesco site for either a care home or, if not needed, affordable housing.

Finding a beneficial use for the former Stoneyhill Community Centre building was also a priority, the conservation society has stressed.

Mr Turner said: "Developers also need to be given the go ahead on the former Edenhall Hospital site. Failure to deliver here, on a significant brown field site, will encourage developers onto more greenfield sites in order to meet Local Development Plan targets."

He explained that that the vacant site was also target for vandals.

He added: "It is essential that the council rigorously oppose any proposal here that envisages access from Inveresk as it is essential to protect the setting of the conservation village."

Camelia Symes, conservation society chairperson said: "Musselburgh is the biggest settlement in East Lothian and this has to be recognised and actively considered in any future planning. Preserving Musselburgh’s heritage is an essential goal for the Musselburgh Conservation Society."

Another issue raised in the list of priorities was the need to avoid increased flooding and, in this respect, the council is urged to require all applications to pave over front gardens for parking to use materials which were "highly permeable" to rain water. Mr Turner stressed the need for rain water to drain away naturally.

The importance of employment in the town was also underlined with the council asked to refuse all planning applications which would involve the loss of employment land.

Action was called for to provide many more allotments focused on a site at Goshen farm which the society said was "currently unused." The society said it understood the council now had "an obligation to satisfy unmet demand for allotments."

The society highlighted the need for adequate local shops provision in all new major development areas, to reduce car use and the need to regularly drive to shops causing congestion. It also urged greater active travel and public transport provision in all such areas to help reduce dependency on cars.

The plan concluded that the new Local Development Plan must signify that Musselburgh was "full" and that for housing only "minor infill" developments would be acceptable.

The society is calling for future change to be community-led through a Local Place Plan prepared by local people and incorporated into the Local Development Plan "as envisaged in new planning legislation."

Mr Turner said: "Anyone wishing to get involved with the work of the Musselburgh Conservation Society in protecting the town's character should email"