A MASTERPLAN for the future of the former Cockenzie Power Station and surrounding land could create more than 3,350 jobs and a £66 million goods-driven economy for East Lothian.

The draft plan, which was revealed this week by East Lothian Council, creates a vision for the site which would create a mix of office and retail jobs as well as creating an "energy quarter" to bring renewable energy jobs to the site and retaining the Battle of Prestonpans site.

Among the ideas put forward by consultants in the masterplan are the possibility of moving Prestonpans Railway Station to Meadowmill; building new roads into the site; and developing a four-track rail service between Prestonpans and Drem.

However plans for a cruise terminal look unlikely to go forward unless an investor steps forward.

The plan has been drawn up by consultants Peter Brett Associates who were appointed by East Lothian Council to bring together public views and expert opinions on the future of the site.

The consultants' report said that while a cruise terminal was "technically feasible" it would require substantial investment to achieve the appropriate sea depths, of potentially "several hundred million pounds".

It said: "It is not clear whether there would be a sufficient market hinterland to sustain a port at Cockenzie.

"There is also the issue of whether there would be sufficient additional land once the 'energy requirement ' of the site is fulfilled."

The National Policy Framework, which designates land at Scottish Government level, continues to classify the former power station site as an area of significance for energy generation.

The publication of the masterplan was welcomed by Prestonpans Community Council who described its recognition of the site as offering significant investment interest as encouraging.

Brian Weddell, community council chairman, said: "East Lothian Council and local communities now have a working document on which to deliver much needed economic development and local jobs”.

And fellow Prestonpans community councillor Calum Miller said he was encourage that the plan had "taken on board our view that a port variant needs to be seriously considered at Cockenzie."

However he expressed disappointment at the low level of public engagement at the consultation stage with the report revealing only 224 people attended eight separate events designed to gauge local views.

He said: "I am disappointed at the low level of public engagement as evidenced in the report which is clearly reflected in the misguided suggestion that Prestonpans railway station should close.

"The Prestonpans Community Council will spend the coming weeks and months looking in detail at the report and will publish our response in due course.”

Iain Gray, East Lothian MSP, said he still believed a cruise terminal was worth considering despite the costs.

He said: "I'm pleased the report keeps options for maximising the economic benefits of the site open at this stage. I have said before that I believe the idea of a cruise terminal has merit, and now is the time to explore it properly, and see what interest there might be in such an investment.

"The development of the report involved engagement with a wide range of local people and groups and it will be important to maintain this engagement going forward. Everyone with a stake in the future of the site should read the report and have their say on the key priorities for its future.”

The masterplan splits the site into four zones.

The first, for 'coastal development', would create offices, offshore energy opportunities and retail, recreation and cafe use.

It also suggests a multi-storey car park and flats or what it describes as short-term let 'crash pads'.

The second zone is described as the 'energy quarter' and addresses the National Framework requirement for energy uses using the existing transformer building and again mixing the energy spaces with retail services for local workers.

Zone 3 is the Coal Store and has been described as a large employment-based zone looking at manufacturing , providing offices and training facilities.

Zone 4 would be the Battle of Prestonpans site complete with Waggonway and has been described as a landscape zone which would act as a "green lung" to counterbalance some of the more intensely developed zones, protecting its status.

The consultants see the masterplan as a 25 year project which will need investment in road infrastructure, rail infrastructure and a diverse range of economic activities.

Councillor LAchlan Bruce, ward member for Preston, Seton Gosford said he believe the plan while "not perfect" hit on the right themes for what the majority of people locally want for the site which is employment opportunities.

He said: "I was also glad to see the report additionally highlighting the need for the area to be not just functional but also attractive, incorporating plenty of green areas for example.

"Of course, this isn't the end and it is only the beginning, there will be plenty of opportunities for people to get involved with planning for the future of the site and I would encourage everyone who lives locally to get involved with the process and help us shape the future of our area."

East Lothian Council stressed the masterplan was nothing more than a vision for people to have their say on.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, depute council leader, said: “The council has long recognised that the former Cockenzie Power Station site presents a key strategic economic development opportunity for East Lothian.

“We are determined to secure a positive future in the best interests of local communities and our economy. That’s why the council and our partners on the Cockenzie Community Forum brought in external consultants to carry out a wide consultation exercise and prepare this masterplan report.

“There remains a huge amount of work to do.

“In the meantime, local residents and interested stakeholders have a chance to review the report and the council looks forward to gathering their reflections.”

Martin Whitfield, East Lothian MP, and a former chairman of Prestonpans Community Council, said: "While the immediate priority remains the resolution of the ownership of the site, local communities and people can now look at the report and start to input their views on the next steps.

"A variety of positive suggestions for the site’s future are already on the table, and I am pleased that creating quality jobs for local people is a focal point of the report.”