A COMPANY which tests rocket engines has been accused of potentially putting nearby residents in danger and “not being confident enough that there won’t be a risk of explosion” as it discussed its plans at a community council meeting.

Space technology company Skyrora is hoping to submit a planning application for a patch of land on the former site of the Cockenzie Power Station to build a temporary facility that will test rocket engines.

It presented its plans to a meeting of Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council this month.

Although tests have been carried out by the company to ensure that the site will have minimal impact on the community, its representative at the meeting was unable to guarantee that there would not be a risk of explosion, despite the safety measures taken during the tests.

The representative was told by several members of the public that this lack of certainty should rule out the possibility of building the testing site near a residential area.

Derek Harris, business operations manager at Skyrora, said: “Safety is of paramount importance to us and the transfer of fuel and oxidiser will be done in accordance with HSE regulations using specially regulated vehicles and fully trained drivers.

“Neither fuel nor the oxidiser will be stored at the site long-term, with only small quantities being brought in for testing. Testing will only take place in an extensively prepared, secure and protected environment where every safety precaution has been put in place – so much so, even in the remote chance of a fault, it would not become dangerous.”