Bidders sought to kick start former Cockenzie Power Station site

A FORMER power station site bought by a local authority over a year ago is about to be put on the open market.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 8:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 4:26 pm
Demolition at Cockenzie Power Station. Pic: Ian Georgeson

East Lothian Council is preparing to put giant signs on the former Cockenzie Power Station land inviting potential customers to make a bid.

The move comes just over a year after the council formally completed the purchase of the 230-acre site on the east coastline.

Public consultations on the future of the site, which includes a large area of communal land, known as the Greenhills, which is used by local communities and the former coal plant site and historic waggonway land were carried out over two years ago.

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The local authority produced a master plan for the site based on the consultations, which it described as a “vision document” for its future.

However neighbouring communities straddling the site have opposing views on its best future development.

Prestonpans Community Council has lobbied for a cruise terminal at the former power station and the council has agreed to carry out an engineering study into its feasibility.

In neighbouring Cockenzie and Port Seton, community councillors are keen to see the master plan, which does not support a cruise port, adopted by the local authority.

It sets out a range of ideas for the site including the potential for a marina at the waterfront, business and economic sectors and recreational land.

Despite the investment into producing the master plan and consulting the public, the only definite project confirmed for the site so far is an unmanned substation, which will bring offshore energy onto land for Inch Cape Offshore Ltd (ICOL).

ICOL, who are owned by Chinese State-owned company Red Rock, were granted permission for the substation after the Scottish Ministers called in their planning application, shortly after East Lothian Council bought the land.

The council confirmed earlier this month that is has agreed to sell part of the land to ICOL.

A bid by local group the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust to buy part of the land for their own heritable project has been rejected by the council.

The council told the trust it had been advised against selling until “such time as the future of the whole site has been determined”.

Signs promoting the land for development are expected to go up on the site within the next few weeks after they were given planning approval.

They will invite all enquiries about “economic development opportunities” on the site to get in touch via email.

Cockenzie, was decommissioned in March 2013.

Its towers had been a landmark for almost 50 years until they were demolished in 2015.