A retired businessman is calling on council chiefs to scrap plans for a wildlife haven and instead build a Formula One-style racing circuit.
A proposal for an international racetrack at Musselburgh Lagoons has been put forward by The Sunbeam Trust, set up by retired Peebles businessman Bob Jamieson.
He claimed the trust is currently involved in a project to start producing hydrogen fuel in Scotland through one of its subsidiaries, Alba H2 Fuel, and it is hoped the track could eventually feature hydrogen cars which would create zero emissions and ‘silent racing’.
The proposal would see other sports facilities based at the site, including an ice rink, gym and speedway venue; however, the main focus would be a racetrack.
Draft layouts of the proposal, which have been sent to East Lothian Council by the trust, outlines a track based on the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia.
Mr Jamieson said that the track proposals were first put before the council two years ago but, at the time, he was told no plans could be brought forward until the lagoons had been restored.
The ash lagoons were created during the years of operation of Cockenzie Power Station.
Waste ash from the energy plant was transported via pipes to the lagoons, which are located on the seaward side of Musselburgh Racecourse.
A large part of the 120-hectare ash lagoons has already been reclaimed, grassed and transferred to East Lothian Council ownership.
It provides a habitat for wildlife, with the last two lagoons also earmarked for the haven.
However, Mr Jamieson says the wildlife proposals are a “wasted opportunity” and is urging council bosses to look again at the trust’s racetrack proposal.
He said: “It is scandalous that this valuable site will not generate any local income from birdwatchers, butterflies and seagulls.
“The opportunity to generate income from millions of visitors to support local businesses and the local economy will be lost.
“Two years ago, a proposal to bring a world-class Formula One race circuit was presented to the council.
“I have been in touch again with Willie Innes [council leader] and await his response.”
By local democracy reporter Marie Sharp