East Lothian Council’s planning committee today (18 December) refused an application from space technologies company Skyrora Limited.
Application 19/00588/P was for the erection of an equipment testing facility, office and storage structures at the former Cockenzie Power Station site for a temporary period of five years.
The application, which planning officers had recommended for approval, was brought before the committee at the request of elected members due to the large number of objections raised by the public during the consultation process.
Committee heard that 168 written representations were received during the consultation process. 166 were against the proposal, one in favour and one neutral. Skyrora had originally requested 70 engine tests per month at the proposed site. Following discussions, and in light of public comments, the applicant reduced the number of proposed tests to five per month to minimise the noise impacts and the amenity of neighbouring properties. The application was readvertised at that point to allow residents and interested parties time to consider this amendment.
Committee members heard representations from Skyrora Limited, members of the community and the two local community councils before making their decision. Committee felt that the noise impact from equipment testing would have an unacceptable impact on the amenity of neighbouring properties and that emissions released during equipment testing could have a harmful impact on the health and wellbeing of the local community. The application was refused by six votes to two.
The committee also considered the following applications:
- Development of 76 houses, four flats and associated works north of Castlehill Main Street, Elphinstone;
- Three retail units and two restaurant/ cafes and a drive-through takeaway business at Gateside West, Haddington;
- A retrospective application from BT to install a cabinet in the conservation area of Eskside West, Musselburgh.
All three applications were approved, with planning conditions attached to Gateside West that additional two electric vehicle spaces should be provided (six in total) and a road safety audit must be carried out.