ICOL continues to engage with onshore community

In recent weeks following the Scottish Government’s decision to call-in ICOL’s onshore application for planning permission in principle, the project team has continued to engage with the local community. As well as meeting with the East Lothian Council, the team have also met with both Prestonpans and Port Seton & Cockenzie Community Councils, and local MSPs to discuss how best to work together moving forward to achieve best use of the land at the former Cockenzie Power Station.

ICOL believes there is enough room for multiple developments on the site and has been actively looking at how to reduce the footprint of the proposed transmission works to ensure the adjacent land would be both available and viable for other developments. Feasibility studies regarding the changing size and design of the transmission works’ footprint, which would remain within the red-line boundary, are ongoing and pre-date the call-in and the most recent calls for a further change in location.

If found viable, these potential changes to the footprint would be outlined in detail in the next stage of planning should the project be granted planning permission in principle, during which ICOL would consult further with the local community.

Ian Johnson, ICOL Project Manager, said: “We have met with East Lothian Council and local political stakeholders to express our ongoing commitment and interest in working together moving forward to achieve what is best for the site. We believe there is enough room for multiple developments on the former Cockenzie Power Station site. Following initial feedback from the local community during the consultation phase, we have been actively looking at how to reduce the footprint of the transmission works to ensure adjacent land is available and viable for other plans.

“We look forward to working with East Lothian Council and the local community to ensure development opportunities are maximised for all.”

Scottish Government ‘Calls-in’ ICOL Onshore Planning Application

The Scottish Government has called-in Inch Cape Offshore Limited’s application for planning permission in principle for onshore components of the wind farm development. The proposal and supporting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which were submitted to East Lothian Council in early March, will now be assessed by planning ministers before a decision on whether permission is granted is confirmed.

This process often takes place for developments of national importance and requires a slightly different decision-making process however the views of the public and other stakeholders, such as East Lothian Council, will remain central to the decision-making process. ICOL encourages all interested parties to continue to contribute to this process.

Ian Johnson, ICOL Project Manager, said: “As the Inch Cape Offshore Wind project is of national significance, our new application for planning permission in principle has been ‘called-in’ by the Scottish Government. This is not uncommon for a project with such national economic and environmental importance. We hope to continue to engage with the local community and East Lothian Council, to listen to any feedback and concerns they may have, as they contribute to the decision-making process in coming months.

“If successful, the project will help achieve the Scottish Government’s goals to minimise our reliance on carbon energy but also act as a positive catalyst in the local area as it continues to go through a period of change following the closure of the power station. By working with the local community and relevant stakeholders we believe we can ensure these goals and benefits are realised.”

Inch Cape submits new application for onshore planning permission in principle

Inch Cape Offshore Limited has submitted a new application for planning permission in principle for onshore components of its offshore wind farm development, proposed at the former Cockenzie Power Station site. The application and supporting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is now available at various locations across the local community for members of the public to review and consult with East Lothian Council.

The project was previously granted planning permission in principle in 2014. Following feedback on the initial application the team have spent the last year consulting with members of the public on a new location. If the application in principle is consented a more detailed planning application will be submitted in due course.

The application and EIA addresses the construction, operation and decommissioning of an onshore substation, electricity cables and associated infrastructure required for the transmission of electricity from the proposed wind farm off the Angus coast. The EIA report did not identify any potentially significant residual effects (in terms of the EIA Regulations) on any environmental or human receptors during these stages of the OnTW other than minimal impacts to landscape and visuals which will reduce over time.

Ian Johnson, ICOL Project Manager said: “We have taken on board the local community’s feedback on the originally proposed site and therefore proposed a new location for the onshore components of the project in this new application. We have made every effort to study potential impacts to the local communities and the environment. We will continue to listen to the public’s feedback and concerns in coming months.

“This project is of national economic and environmental value. Not only will it help the Scottish Government make significant strides in its efforts to achieving carbon free energy, it will act as a positive catalyst in the local area as it continues to go through a period of change following the closure of the power station. By working with the local community and relevant stakeholders we believe we can ensure these goals and benefits are realised.”