A PETITION has been launched calling on ScottishPower to address community concerns about the future of the ash pipe at the former Cockenzie Power Station site.

The pipe, which carried ash from the energy plant to the ash lagoons at Levenhall and is believed to contain asbestos, has been at the heart of repeated requests from members of the community for information.

Now, Preston Seton Gosford ward councillor Lachlan Bruce (Con) has launched a petition calling for ScottishPower to reveal what it plans to do with the pipe and answer 12 questions which he says the community has a right to know.

Mr Bruce said that there were long-standing concerns that the pipe could be abandoned by ScottishPower and the community has been calling on the energy giant to reveal its plans.

Letters and emails from Mr Bruce and Prestonpans Community Council have so far gone unanswered.

Among the questions posed in the petition are who owns the land the pipe lies on, whether a professional survey of the pipe’s condition exists, and how much the company expects to spend maintaining the pipe.

He also asks if a risk assessment has been carried out to see if the pipe could weather a major storm and what will happen to it if ScottishPower ceases to exist.

The questions come after Prestonpans community councillor Calum Miller said he was told by East Lothian Council that if the pipe broke in 10 years’ time he would have to “call Madrid” – a reference to the company’s Spanish owners Iberdrola.

Mr Bruce said: “People in Prestonpans deserve the right to know what is happening in their community.

“This pipe has the potential to be a massive issue for the entire Firth of Forth area in the future if it isn’t maintained properly by ScottishPower.

“I wrote to ScottishPower in November yet they have still not responded.

“That is why I have taken the step of asking for the public’s help to get answers to these very serious questions.”

A ScottishPower spokesperson said: “We will be working closely with East Lothian Council to ensure arrangements are finalised for the ongoing maintenance and management of the assets ScottishPower continues to be responsible for associated with the Musselburgh lagoons.

“As part of this process, we will of course engage with all of those who raised questions about the ash pipeline.

“The original pipeline was manufactured using cement with a very small amount of asbestos mixed in, which was a common construction practice at the time.

“Some sections have been replaced with non-asbestos mix over the years and ScottishPower continues to monitor, inspect and maintain the pipeline to ensure it remains in a safe condition.”