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There will be no stramash between Prestonpans Community Council and the 1745 Battle Trust!

NOT a problem ... just a Draft Kite that never flew


What only last week seemed to have the makings of a significant stramash between the Community Council and the 1745 Battle Trust has been quickly defused at a meeting between their respective Chairmen.

For the Community Council Jimmy Yule was adamant that no plans to re-zone the battle site for commercial or industrial use howsoever will be tabled beyond the initial draft, and that he was not in the least surprised that nigh on 6500 had already signed the 1745 Battle Trustís Petition online. And he was particularly delighted that a third of those signatories were from individuals overseas determined to visit the battlesite bringing enhanced tourism to the 25,000 already coming along each year.

For the 1745 Battle Trust Joint Chairmen Herbert Coutts and Dr. Gordon Prestoungrange reiterated their complete support for Prestonpans Community Councilís determination to explore as many ways of creating jobs in the community as is possible in those areas where an industrial footprint has been left by the exit of Scottish Power.

This support by the 1745 Battle Trust is based on five redlines, however, with which Jimmy Yule concurs and will seek Community Council approval at its next meeting:

[i] that the putative Repsol/ InchCape substation for offshore energy, which has received Planning Consent in Principle, should not if it proceeds be located on the battle site but on the brownfield site to the north where connectivity with the National Grid is straightforward.

[ii] that all such developments will be within carefully landscaped and maintained areas that are compatible with [a] the residential neighbourhoods of Prestonpans and Cockenzie to west and east; [b] the battlesite itself; and [c] the Tranent/ Cockenzie Waggonway, Salt Pans and Harbour.

[iii] that if the ambition for a terminal for ocean going liners is to be included, a comprehensive study must be undertaken of how all its infrastructure support needs can be accommodated in a manner compatible with all those already identified at [ii] above, including provision for substantially increased road movements.

[iv] that the potential for job creation for existing residents in the community on the existing industrial footprint must be explored in the utmost detail and all necessary provision made locally for requisite training and development.

[v] that the battlesite itself must be returned to agriculture as in 1745; two Memorial Tables installed in a Garden of Remembrance in Thorntree Fields; and the Tranent/Cockenzie Waggonway comprehensively conserved and interpreted.

For the Community Council Jimmy Yule also gave his support to the proposal currently under discussion at East Lothian Council for the 1745 Battle Trust to create its Living History Centre including the tapestries at Prestongrange Museum. It was understood that such an initiative has been predicted to bring upwards of 100,000 additional visitors to The Pans creating a range of jobs. But more than that it would provide footfall with whom the Museum can share the much broader industrial heritage of Prestonpans from salt panning and pottery to chemicals, fishing, brewing, brickworks and coal. It is this much broader heritage that makes the Prestongrange Museum location so attractive for the 1745 Battle Trustís own purposes.

Whilst it is clear that future developments to the east of the town will be sometime acomin' there is every reason to believe significant moves to the west at the Museum can take place in 2017 and beyond.

Published Date: June 9th 2016

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