PLANS to build a controversial substation on the site of the former Cockenzie Power Station have been branded a “crazy scheme” by Prestonpans Community Council.

Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL) wants to build a substation onshore at Cockenzie to bring energy from a proposed offshore windfarm onto land and into the national grid.

Original plans to build the plant on part of the Battle of Prestonpans site were given planning permission by East Lothian Council, despite objections from the battle’s heritage trust and community action group the Coastal Regeneration Alliance.

However, ICOL announced it planned to move the substation to a new site on the footprint of the former power station itself, saying it was responding to feedback from public consultations.

But the new proposal came under criticism at a meeting of the community council after representatives presented their case to its members.

The group stated its opposition to the plan, saying it wanted to see jobs created on the site, rather than a building which would offer no local employment taking up valuable space.

Jimmy Yule, community council vice-chairman, said: “This is a very valuable site and we want to see jobs on it.”

ICOL representatives told the community council that their revised plans came after a recent consultation exercise organised by East Lothian Council, which is drawing up a masterplan for the former power station and surrounding land.

However, community councillors challenged their claims, saying they could not recall any support for moving the substation to the seafront site during the public meetings they attended.

Calum Miller, community councillor, said: “Instead of a foreign electrical transformer rendering the site useless, we want to see a dynamic transformation that delivers local employment opportunities.”

And he called for the masterplan, which was due to be presented in a final report in March this year, to be made public.

He said: “It is time the masterplan was on the table, visible to all. It’s being used to justify all sorts of crazy schemes but only a selected few have seen it.”

The community council unanimously agreed to object to Inch Cape’s plans for the substation to be built at the power station site.