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Offshore windfarm substation on part of Battle of Prestonpans site given approval

Plans to build an electrical substation on part of the Battle of Prestonpans battle site were overwhelmingly approved by East Lothian Council this week.

The planning committee voted by 12 to 3 to approve the controversial plans, despite a call for the matter to be deferred so the local community could be “properly consulted”.

Inchcape Offshore Windfarms Ltd wants to build the substation on the north-west corner of the site, just south of the disused coal plant linked to the former Cockenzie Power Station.

A legal representative for the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust 1745 and the Coastal Regeneration Alliance (CRA) urged the council to postpone a decision, insisting the public had not been fully consulted on the plans or made aware of its impact.

However, only three councillors, all from the SNP, voted for the deferral.

Stephen Kerr, project manager for Inchcape, welcomed the decision, adding: “We have held public consultations and taken local views onboard.”

However, the CRA described the decision as a “betrayal” of the local community.

In a statement it said: “The CRA witnessed East Lothian Council betray the community by voting to approve planning for the Inch Cape proposal.”

The group vowed to fight on.

Gareth Jones, of the CRA and chair of the battle trust, said: “We can’t let this go unchallenged and everybody who cares about our history, environment and community must make East Lothian Council aware of their concerns by contacting their councillors and completing our petition calling for information and dialogue.”

The substation – about 46 metres long, 11 metres wide and 11 metres tall – would bring electricity from Inchcape Offshore Windfarm onto the National Grid.