Oct 222014

A press release issued by Pauline Bristow, who is the Communications Officer from East Lothian Council  


A cross-party member / officer group has met for the first time on Monday (20th October) to discuss potential proposals for the former power station site at Cockenzie

The group has been set up and remitted with Council approval, in response to a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) from Scottish Enterprise, who are investigating possible future options for the site as a key area for green energy production-related industry.

The meeting was chaired by Councillor John McMillan and the group involves Councillors Norman Hampshire, Margaret Libberton and Michael Veitch representing the Administration and Councillors Stuart Currie, Peter Mackenzie and Steven Brown representing the Opposition. Key council staff from Planning, Legal and Economic Development were also present for the discussion.

The remit of the group is to oversee options and engagement work undertaken in relation to the site, engaging with all parties involved in emerging proposals and working in partnership to ensure all potential opportunities and benefits are explored and maximised while all risks and drawbacks are identified and mitigated.

At the inaugural meeting, councillors and council officers heard from and were able to question Scottish Enterprise representatives about their activities to date, including exhibitions and community consultation. It was stressed that the exact extent and form of an energy park at Cockenzie cannot currently be defined and that the scope of the development will be refined by Scottish Enterprise over the coming months in considering the requirements of an Environmental Impact Assessment, feedback from stakeholders including local communities and industry, and taking into consideration the findings from design, engineering and environmental studies.

Chair of the group, Councillor McMillan, said: “We had a very helpful and informative discussion, however it is clear that plans being driven by Scottish Enterprise are at a very early stage and there are many external factors which will have an influence on how this moves forward. We await future information with interest. In the meantime, it is important that opinions of local people and interested parties are gathered and indeed any other feasible proposals for the future use of the site are brought forward and discussed. One of the ways we will do this over the coming months will be through our discussions with stakeholders and communities on the Local Development Plan Main Issues Report, which is a consultation document which will inform our final Local Development Plan.”

The dates of further meetings will be agreed as necessary throughout the coming months.