Residents in the west of the county fear the creation of a “mini Grangemouth” under plans to site a marine energy park at Cockenzie.
They claim the communities of Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton could merge together as one giant industrial zone if the scheme goes ahead.
More than 250 people attended a meeting in Prestonpans last week to find out more about the proposal, currently being considered by Scottish Enterprise.
The government agency is looking at land at Cockenzie Power Station as one of a number of options to help meet demand for sites for the manufacture of offshore wind turbines.
Scoping documents for the proposal show that cranes standing 156 metres tall – seven metres taller than the existing power station chimneys – could be needed to service the site. Construction of a deep water quay would also be needed to allow newly-built turbines to be transported straight out to sea.
The Coastal Regeneration Forum for the area, which is helping to co-ordinate public meetings, is concerned that the proposal goes against the communities’ own post-industrial vision for the coastline – focusing on leisure, recreation, culture and tourism.
Full story in this week’s East Lothian News. on sale now.