CAMPAIGNERS managed to collect more than 1,000 signatures in just four days to keep hopes of a Community Right to Buy order on part of ScottishPower owned land at the former Cockenzie Power Station alive.

Volunteers went door to door after the campaign was told it would need a further 600 signatures on top of the 1200 already gathered supporting their bid.

And in just four days they gathered an astonishing 1,036 additional names backing their fight to bring the Greenhills and Battle of Prestonpans field into community ownership.

The bid to buy the land is being led by the Coastal Regeneration Alliance (CRA)which was initially set up to oppose plans by Scottish Enterprise to build a giant industrial park on the land.

They have applied to the Scottish Government to issue an order which will give the community first option to buy the land should ScottishPower decide to sell.

But campaigners were dealt a blow last week when it was revealed ScottishPower was already in negotiations with private bidders over the land and a further 6,000 signatures would be needed if their case was to be considered.

More than 40 volunteers went through the streets gathering support from people who had not already signed their petition and by Friday's deadline, they had almost doubled the number of people calling for the community buy-out.

A spokesperson for the CRA said the new petition was now with the Scottish Government for consideration.

he said: "It was a remarkable effort by people and shows the strength of feeling in the community about this land and its future.

"We now await a decision from the Scottish Government."

The proposals for the land were drawn up following public meetings in Prestonpans and Cockenzie and Port Seton.

They include memorial gardens for the Battle of Prestonpans, children's play park, a new care home, ice-cream parlour and memorial to the Spitfire battle, which took place during 1939 in the skies above East Lothian.