A SECOND round of public consultation is to take place over a plan to transform the final two ash lagoons at Levenhall, Musselburgh, into a major Scottish nature attraction.

ScottishPower has submitted a revised Proposal of Application Notice to East Lothian Council to restore the sites – the last in operation before coal-fired Cockenzie Power Station shut in 2013 after more than four decades of electricity production.

Waste ash from the energy plant was transported via pipes to the lagoons, which are located on the seaward side of Musselburgh Racecourse.

A large part of the 120-hectare ash lagoons has already been reclaimed, grassed and transferred to East Lothian Council ownership, providing a habitat for wildlife, and it is hoped the last two will follow suit.

They form part of the Firth of Forth Special Protection area and the one closest to the mouth of the River Esk has been designated as an internationally important Ramsar site and a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its value to wading birds.

For bird security, a roosting area will be protected by a moat in which a wading area, made of ash and clay, will be formed. An allowance has been made for a sand martin bank in the south-east corner of the moated area. Footpaths and hides will be kept at a distance, so people using them will not be seen by the birds. The nearest areas where the public have access will be marked with a fence and hedgerow. On the north side of the lagoon, the existing mound of ash will be graded with gentle slopes to enable a network of footpaths.

The concept for the other lagoon, nearest Prestongrange, is to have a large, naturally-developing area with a footpath to the seaward side. There will be a water supply and drainage system similar to the other lagoon.

The base of the main lagoon will be profiled to create various low areas throughout and covered with a thin clay/sub soil layer. These areas will flood and create different small local environments to encourage bird and insect life on to the area.

The landscaped area to the west will be graded, covered in top soil from another lagoon and left to self-seed.

ScottishPower, which first held a public consultation on the plans at the Big Nature Festival at Levenhall Links in 2016, will hold a similar event at the Fisherrow Centre on February 8, 4-8pm.

A spokesperson said: “A revised Proposal of Application Notice has been submitted to East Lothian Council. The focus of this community consultation will be a public exhibition to be held in the Fisherrow Centre. Local residents are very welcome to attend.

“Members of ScottishPower’s project team and advisors will be available to discuss the updated proposals for the restoration of the remaining ash lagoons, which were informed by the very positive feedback from the previous round of consultation undertaken over the summer of 2016. A planning application will be submitted following the completion of the community consultation.”

He stressed that there were “no material changes” to the restoration plans with the exception of a change to the construction of the bird watching hides.

He added: “The plans will now include further technical information in relation to lagoon capping and monitoring requirements on the site. This refers to the forming of the mounds of ash, planting/grassing, water management and installing bird hides.

“Monitoring programmes will be in place after the capping work has taken place, before the site is handed over to East Lothian Council. There are no issues of concern at the site but monitoring programmes and close working with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency will ensure that the work has been delivered to the agreed specifications.”

Jason Rose, chairman of the Friends of Levenhall Links, said: “We are supportive of the proposals as they enhance the ash lagoons so they become first-class habitats for birdlife and insects.”