Former Cockenzie power station and surrounding area

The former Cockenzie Power Station site was acquired by East Lothian Council in 2018 to support its ambitions for promoting economic growth in the local area and creating employment opportunities. 

A significant amount of technical work has been taking place to fully understand and plan for the necessary infrastructure and environmental, economic and sustainability work that will be required for this key site to be delivered.

East Lothian Council intends to market the site extensively to help understand potential future use with much interest already shown.

In February 2019, Scottish Ministers granted planning permission in principle for an onshore substation, electricity cables and associated infrastructure to Inch Cape Offshore Ltd on part of the site. East Lothian Council has agreed to sell Inch Cape a reduced area of the site enabling more land to be retained for opportunities to boost the local economy and support employment. 

In August 2021, the council's Planning Committee unanimously approved outline planning permission for Seagreen to construct an electricity substation on part of the Cockenzie site, to take power from an offshore windfarm and feed it into the National Grid, with associated underground cabling. The undersea cables will be considered separately by Marine Scotland.

The proposed new settlement at Greater Blindwells is also of significant relevance to the Cockenzie site. Both are strategically important to East Lothian and the wider city region.

The Masterplan report, produced for the Cockenzie site, will continue to be an important visionary document and serve as a basis for discussion between key stakeholders to help realise ambitions for economic development.

National Planning Framework (NPF) 3 identified the site as being of strategic national significance for thermal energy generation and carbon capture and storage. The council has worked with colleagues in Scottish Government to allow greater flexibility in planning for the site and has been pleased to find that the recently published draft NPF4 identifies the site for economic development. We will continue to engage with the government as this national planning process unfolds, to ensure that the Cockenzie site can be used to support East Lothian’s economic ambitions.

NPF4, the Regional Prosperity Framework, the council’s own Economic Development Strategy and a range of other preparatory work including community-driven feasibility studies and substantial interests will be taken into consideration in preparing our Local Development Plan 2, which will set out more detailed proposals for the site, once NPF4 is approved by the Members of the Scottish Parliament.

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