The report setting out the findings/outputs from the master planning process for the former Cockenzie Power Station site is now available.
The report was produced by consultants Peter Brett Associates following their appointment by East Lothian Council, an appointment process which involved local stakeholders through the Cockenzie Community Forum.
While the power station’s demolition stirred up a mix of emotions among local people and there are different opinions on future use of the site, most agree that this is a hugely important issue for local residents and an exciting opportunity for East Lothian
Depute Council Leader Norman Hampshire
The document is being made available following Scottish Power’s recent announcement that East Lothian Council is preferred bidder to purchase the site.
The document does not represent any agreed council policy or settled outcome for the future of the site. Instead it serves as a basis for further reflection, discussion and engagement between key stakeholders.
The consultants were tasked with producing a visionary document setting out potential future land uses for the site. A series of interactive community drop-in sessions were held in Cockenzie, Port Seton and Prestonpans – attended by more than 200 people. All views expressed were considered carefully and no suggestion was considered off limits. Meetings were also held with local and national stakeholders.
The document acknowledges that the former power station is a key site for local communities and the wider East Lothian economy. The report sets out a possible vision of a mixed-use site including an employment zone, multi-purpose open space, landscaped areas with paths, an area for a potential energy quarter and an improved harbour setting with further employment space and infrastructure improvements.
There are a number of factors and considerations which would need to be taken into account before a masterplan report could inform local planning policy. For example, a formal statutory process - including prescribed periods of consultation - would be necessary.
The council is keen to understand the direction of future national planning policy set by Scottish Ministers, with the National Planning Framework due for review in 2019. It would also be necessary for the council to carry out technical work, including a Strategic Environmental Assessment on whatever ultimately is agreed upon for the site in planning policy terms.
In the meantime, the masterplan report will serve as a basis for further reflection, discussion and engagement between the council and key stakeholders.
Depute Council Leader Norman Hampshire said:
“I welcome publication of the report produced by Peter Brett Associates. The council has long recognised that the former Cockenzie Power Station site presents a key strategic economic development opportunity for East Lothian. While the power station’s demolition stirred up a mix of emotions among local people and there are different opinions on future use of the site, most agree that this is a hugely important issue for local residents and an exciting opportunity for East Lothian as a whole. We are therefore determined to secure a positive future in the best interests of local communities and our economy. That’s why the council and our partners on the Cockenzie Community Forum brought in external consultants to carry out a wide consultation exercise and prepare this masterplan report. I’d like to thank everyone who attended one of the events which were held – the feedback received was invaluable and has helped get to this stage. There remains a huge amount of work to do. For example, we need to understand whether there are any implications for the site as a result of any revisions to national planning policy. Crucially, we also need to secure formal purchase of the site, following the recent news that East Lothian Council is ScottishPower’s preferred bidder. While these matters are very complex the council is focused on making progress as quickly as possible. In the meantime, local residents and interested stakeholders have a chance to review the report and the council looks forward to gathering their reflections.”