SCOTTISH Ministers have today (Friday) granted planning permission for a substation to be built on part of the former Cockenzie Power Station site.

The site, which is owned by East Lothian Council and had been earmarked as having the potential to bring more than 3,000 jobs to the community, has been at the centre of a battle between the community, the council and windfarm company Inch Cape.

Ministers called in the planning application from Inch Cape, which wants to bring energy from a planned offshore windfarm onshore at the site, before East Lothian Council had made any ruling on it.

The call-in was controversially made while First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was visiting China, where she met representatives of the Chinese state-owned Red Rock company, which owns Inch Cape.

Issuing their decision, Scottish Ministers said they agreed with the Scottish Government reporter’s findings that the substation was of “national importance”.

East Lothian Council and local communities had argued it would “sterilise” the site for future economic development.

However, the reporter noted that the substation would take up less than 10 per cent of the former power station site.