MORE objections have been raised following the latest public consultation regarding a planning application for a rocket engine test area.

Scottish space company Skyrora has applied to East Lothian Council to occupy the site of the former Cockenzie Power Station coal handling plant for five years to build a temporary equipment test site.

Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council hosted an event with representatives from Skyrora in attendance and raised some concerns that they had gathered both from within the community council and from the locals.

Among the issues raised related to the results of the noise assessment that Skyrora had conducted on the surrounding area to measure the impact of the engine tests.

The community council felt that not enough distinction was made between familiar noise and unfamiliar noise, with particular reference to the finding that bird song was the prevailing noise in the area.

Also mentioned was the potential site traffic travelling on the B6371, past Cockenzie Primary School and therefore becoming disruptive, and lastly, that the security fencing planned for the site would not be high enough to guarantee that it will prevent unlawful access. Bryan Hickman, chairman of the community council, said: “The community council thank the representatives of Skyrora for meeting the community.

“Many questions were raised including the objections submitted by the community council and the others from the floor. In my opinion, the answers to some of the points raised were not clear or consistent with the planning documents submitted.

“The consensus was that this development is not suitable for a site situated close to residential areas, schools and busy roads.”

Derek Harris, business operations manager at Skyrora, said: “Such is our commitment to keeping the local community up to speed on plans and taking their views into account, this was our fourth meeting in the town.

“The test site offers East Lothian the opportunity to play an invaluable role in the infrastructure to support Scotland’s existing space ambitions and inspire the next generation in the town to a career in STEM [science, technology, engineering, mathematics] while bringing a raft of economic opportunities to the town.”

Skyrora recently successfully tested their first 3D-printed commercial rocket engine at Newquay airport in Cornwall.