TENSIONS between two neighbouring communities over land which separates them have boiled over after one launched a 21-page report trashing the other’s vision for the land’s future.

Prestonpans Community Council and Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council have been at loggerheads over their proposals for the future of the former Cockenzie Power Station site and the surrounding Greenhills area.

Both have published their own documents promoting what they want to see at the site and now a third document has been produced  by a group calling themselves ‘the Greenhills’.

This report paints a nightmarish vision of the “reality” of a cruise port favoured by Prestonpans Community Council, describing it as an  “unwanted and potentially devastating” development.

The report carries the strapline ‘Greenhills: Delivering the Masterplan’. A Facebook page under that title states the group is a sub-group of Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council including businesses and residents.

However, Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council chairman Graeme Jeffrey insists they are not linked to his organisation.

One Prestonpans community councillor branded the Greenhills group “a mob of self-appointed NIMBYs”.

The 230-acre former power station site was bought by East Lothian Council from ScottishPower earlier this year and is currently at the centre of a Scottish Government hearing over plans by offshore windfarm company Inch Cape to build an electrical substation on it.

The Scottish Government-appointed reporter held a public hearing in Port Seton last month to hear arguments from both community councils, which are both opposed to the Inch Cape plan.

After Inch Cape’s representatives told the reporter their plan was the “only” project on the table for the land, dismissing other proposals, including the council’s own masterplan as “theoretical”, the reporter allowed submissions from other parties.

She gave the go-ahead to the submission of a report on the feasibility of a cruise terminal and port on behalf of Professor Alf Baird, who has argued the case for such an operation at Cockenzie for two decades.

That led to John Campbell QC asking and being granted the right to submit Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council’s own vision document, which includes a marina, cafes and leisure facilities at the site, and the Greenhills cruise ship rebuttal report.

The Greenhills report against the cruise terminal builds on concerns raised in March over the decision to call in the Inch Cape application while First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was in China meeting representatives of China’s State Development and Investment Corporation, which owns Inch Cape.

It states: “The port will more than likely be called Edinburgh East: cruise companies can advertise Edinburgh better than Prestonpans or East Lothian.

“It will be the funders who will dictate everything, more than likely the Chinese state or a Chinese company now that we are leaving Europe.”

Calum Miller, Prestonpans community councillor, claimed the Greenhills campaigners were a re-emergence of the Coastal Regeneration Alliance – a group born out of a campaign to stop Scottish Enterprise building an energy park at the site four years ago. They disbanded after attempts to purchase the Greenhills in a community buyout failed.

He said: “The Greenhills mob are a bunch of self-appointed NIMBYs whose only agenda is no change.

“They want us to believe that East Lothian is the only community in the world too stupid to run a cruise ship terminal safely.

“The evidence from elsewhere in Scotland is overwhelming – such developments are powerful engines of economic growth.”