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Offshore Energy Ready to Come Ashore ....

Marie Sharp at the East Lothian Courier again with breaking news for incoming Offshore Energy!

"The first planning application for the newly-bought former Cockenzie Power Station site has been lodged with East Lothian Council. (They've beaten the Battle of Prestonpans [1745] Heritage Trust to the gun!)

"Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL) has submitted its plans for a substation on the site, which would bring offshore energy onto land and into the National Grid.

"The plans, which were subject to public consultations last year, move the substation closer to the shore from its initial site actually on the northern edge of Battle of Prestonpans fields.

"ICOL has said it identified the new location after taking into account the reactions and views of local residents over those original plans - which were previously approved by the Council.

It's a more cost-effective location

"it is understood the new location would also be a far less expensive site as it places the substation closer to the National Grid connection than it would have been.

"An application for planning permission in principle for the substation was submitted to council planners last month and validated on March 8 – the day after East Lothian Council announced it had bought the former power station site from owners ScottishPower.

"The plans are accompanied by a 68-page planning statement from ICOL which argues that the Cockenzie Masterplan – a document drawn up by consultants on behalf of the council as a “vision document” for the entire site – should be regarded as “non-statutory guidance” for planners.

Temporary impact on Greenhills and John Muir Way

"It reveals that the 10.2-hectare site it proposes to build the substation on would mean closures of part of the John Muir Way and Greenhills, although it says those would be temporary.

"The John Muir Way core path 276, which runs around the outside of the former power station site, would have to be temporarily diverted during the construction of the substation, which would see underground cables brought ashore. ICOL said the diversion would be for up to eight weeks.

"ICOL added: 'In addition, there will be a requirement for temporary closure of a small area of open space (approximately 0.3 ha) within the application site along the north-western boundary for health and safety reasons during cable installation which would require approximately two weeks per cable. This area of open space forms part of the much wider area of open space at Preston Links, known also as Greenhills.

'All disturbance will be temporary in nature and will be reinstated to its existing use following cable laying and associated works.'

"The statement went on to add that an environmental inpact assessment had looked at the visual impact of the substation building on surrounding areas and said there were potential views for residents of Whin Park, Cockenzie; Cockenzie Harbour; and Appin Drive, Prestonpans."

The planning statement is available to view at Port Seton Library and all documents are online on the council’s website.

Published Date: March 20th 2018

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