Jan 152015

Thank you to Carl Barber, the media co-ordinator from the Coastal Regeneration Alliance for the following statements.

The Coastal Regeneration Alliance, or CRA, have issued two statements in response to East Lothian Council following a recently published article which appeared in the ‘East Lothian Courier’ as well as a meeting held by a cross-party group which CRA were invited to and recently attended.

In an article published in the ‘Courier’ dated January 8’th,  entitled ‘Councillors not told of response to Scottish Government consultation on the future of Cockenzie‘, the CRA has said in response:

“CRA believe that ELC’s admission to an ‘administrative oversight’ – which saw ELC’s report to Scottish Government on the Scottish Enterprise Energy Park & major NPF3 development – being ‘hidden’ from local Councillors and the public for over 12 months – plus the admission of inaccuracies with reference to C&PS having a ‘deep water’ port  – warrants the entire process being invalidated. This should now either be retracted or redrafted (which would surely eliminate C&PS from being suggested for NPF3).

The CRA asks will this happen? (Retracted or redrafted) – And what measures and mechanisms are being put in place by ELC to ensure this type of ‘oversight doesn’t happen again? – And finally, what do ELC propose happens next to redress the consequences?”

Subsequently, following a cross-party meeting with the CRA, the alliance were offered an opportunity to comment by East Lothian Council after they had submitted an article on the meeting’s progress.

Gareth Jones for CRA has said in response: “We had not expected to issue a press release on the meeting and we are concerned that by issuing a statement at such short notice we could be seen to be in alignment with the Council’s position, which seems to amount to wait and see the details of the Scottish Enterprise proposals.  Our view is that we must make the opinions of those who have signed the Petition and attended the public meetings heard and strive to influence the process in every way we can.  Hopefully that will include working with the Council but we cannot make a statement supporting the Council’s stance on taking no proactive forward planning action on the whole site on the basis that to do so would in some way be prejudicial to the Planning process or a wasteful use of public expenditure.

This is potentially a huge development with wide ranging social, economic and environmental implications.  The Council must take some proactive action to engage with the adjacent communities sooner rather than later.  That does not need to involve any direct comment on Scottish Enterprise’s proposals but would give those communities an opportunity to have a say in the Council’s own statements on the future designation of the site.  At present all that we have are the personal comments from a few Councillors and a proposal for the re-allocation of much of the countryside and battlefield and open space around the site for employment use in the emerging Local Development Plan.  This appears to be in accordance with Scottish Enterprise’s proposals as detailed in their Proposal of Application Notice and EIA scoping documents.  No other options have been discussed or tabled and we all feel that we have been excluded from having any real role in the Planning Process that has led directly to this situation.”
NOTE: The Coastal Regeneration Alliance are a non-protest, non-political group set up in the wake of proposals for the future of the Cockenzie Power Station site, expressing the views of concerned local residents within the affected communities.