PLANS for future development at the former Cockenzie Power Station should be suspended until a full investigation is carried out into claims part of the site is contaminated, it has been suggested.

Brian Weddell, chairman of Prestonpans Community Council, recently called for a moratorium to be placed on plans relating to the site after the people behind a proposed substation on the site said they had rejected using the former Coal Plant section of the land for their building because it would be too expensive to clean up the pollution there.

ScottishPower have denied any suggestion there are environmental concerns at the site.

Mr Weddell called for the suspension of any proposals for the land until a full investigation could be carried out into the pollution claims and the long-term ownership of it is resolved

He said: “If the Coal Plant is too polluted for development then we need to know what the risks are and how long it will take ScottishPower to clean up the mess.”

Representatives of Inch Cape, who want to build a substation to bring in energy from a proposed offshore windfarm on the power station land, told Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council that they had considered placing the building on the Coal Plant site but had ruled it out because of the cost of clearing up contamination.

Instead, they want to build it on part of the power station footprint itself.

Prestonpans Community Council opposes the move, which it believes could prevent other developments which would bring jobs to the community.

Mr Weddell said more information was needed about the state of the whole site before any planning applications were considered.

He said: “An informed decision must be taken on the location of the Inch Cape building and currently we are not in full possession of the facts.

“We require a plan that works for the whole community and the Inch Cape building needs to be part of that bigger picture.”

A ScottishPower spokesperson said: “There are no environmental concerns with the land at the coal plant and the current demolition process will ensure that all environmental considerations are fully taken in to account.”

The Inch Cape planning application is due to be considered shortly by East Lothian Council’s planning committee.