THE company behind a controversial substation has pledged to reduce its size significantly.

Inch Cape Offshore Ltd has been given approval to site the building – which will bring energy ashore from an offshore wind farm – on land at the former Cockenzie Power Station by Scottish Ministers.

A planning application was initially lodged with East Lothian Council but was called in by the Scottish Government before a decision was made.

That decision sparked anger after it was announced as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was on an official visit to China, where she met representatives of Chinese state owned Red Rock, which owns Inch Cape.

Now the company has presented a revised plan of the space it intends to use to Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council.

The community council posted the new design on social media and revealed plans were under way for Inch Cape to host workshops in the local communities in the coming months.

The image shows the substation on about a third of the original 10.2-hectare footprint applied for.

One of the biggest concerns raised by communities and the local authority, which owns the land, was that a substation dominating the old power station site would make it a no-go area for other developments.

The new plans were welcomed by many on the community council’s Facebook page, with one person saying: “Good news, less sterilisation of the site.”

Ian Johnson, Inch Cape’s project manager, said: “We are continuing to engage with East Lothian Council and local community councils on options to significantly reduce the footprint of the onshore transmission works and moving this to the west of the site.

“While this detailed design plan is subject to further technical assessments, consultation and approval from the council, we are taking steps to ensure remaining land is available for other developments.”