Councillors have received an update from officers on the former Cockenzie Power Station site.
The site was acquired by East Lothian Council last year to support its ambitions for promoting economic growth in the local area and creating employment opportunities. It is a key component of the East Lothian Economic Development Strategy and features within the current National Planning Framework (NPF 3).
At a meeting this week it was explained to Councillors that remedial and improvement works had taken place in and around the site, including the installation of additional security measures, drain cleaning and the replacement of a marine beacon at the end of the jetty. Some 45 acres of agricultural fields have been ploughed and are currently being offered to interested parties for cropping.
Last week Scottish Ministers granted planning permission in principle for an onshore substation, electricity cables and associated infrastructure on part of the site. The council is reviewing the detail of this decision.
Whilst the council had objected to the application, Elected Members agreed at this week’s meeting that the council would continue to engage with the applicant, Inch Cape Offshore Limited, with a view to reducing the footprint of required land for the substation. If successful this would maximise the land remaining available for opportunities to boost the local economy and support employment.
Elected Members also received an update on the extensive and wide ranging interest in the site and further planned community engagement. Prior to marketing the site extensively the council wishes to understand the full potential of the site it owns. Given the strategic nature of the site it was decided that the council would progress a technical study into potential cruise/port related activity determining whether a proposal of this nature would be feasible.