A CONTROVERSIAL masterplan for the future of the former Cockenzie Power Station site has been shortlisted for a prestigious award recognising planning excellence.

The plan, commissioned by East Lothian Council, outlines a 25-year vision for the site, which is currently subject to land sale negotiations between owners ScottishPower and the local authority.

The resulting document, the Former Cockenzie Power Station Masterplan, has been named as one of six Scottish finalists in the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Awards for Planning Excellence.

The plan by consultants Peter Brett Associates is nominated for the Excellence in Plan Making Practice award.

However, it is at the centre of a rift between campaigners involved in the public consultations and community councillors over its ideas and its standing.

East Lothian Council, which was given £150,000 in grants to fund the consultation, insists that the masterplan is a “vision document” and simply brings together a wide range of ideas for the future of the site.

Prestonpans Community Council was angered by suggestions in the final document that a cruise terminal – something the group has openly supported – appeared to be dismissed.

Members have demanded further investigation into the feasibility of the terminal before any final decision is made and criticised the masterplan’s findings.

But at a meeting of Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council earlier this month, there was anger from members of the public at the neighbouring community council’s refusal to accept the findings.

Shona Brash, a founding member of the Coastal Regeneration Alliance – which was formed in the wake of initial plans by Scottish Enterprise to build a giant energy park on the land, and developed into a grassroots movement to represent people’s views on its future – questioned the point of the masterplan, telling the meeting: “I do not understand the point of the masterplan if it is the case that when some individuals do not get the answer they wanted they just go back and do something else.”

Prestonpans community councillor Calum Miller, who has described the masterplan as “fundamentally flawed”, said: “Perhaps the masterplan should be up for a Scottish Comedy Award – ‘Carry on up Cockenzie’ springs to mind.”

Douglas Proudfoot, head of service development at East Lothian Council, said: “Recognising the importance of the former Cockenzie Power Station site, East Lothian Council, together with community partners, appointed consultants to develop a visionary document on potential future land uses, taking into account extensive consultation.

“It is important to stress the document does not represent any agreed council policy or settled outcome for the future of the site; however, based on community feedback, it sets out a possible vision and serves as a basis for further reflection, discussion and engagement between the council and key stakeholders.

“The masterplan report sets out some of the opportunities for the site – such as mixed use development including community and green space, recreation but importantly significant employment use.”