THE Scottish Government insisted it was sticking to the rules yesterday as Labour’s Iain Gray accused ministers of “riding roughshod over local democracy”. The comment came as former Labour leader Gray delivered a 1000-signature petition to parliament over plans for the former Cockenzie power station. East Lothian Council bought the site in March after producing a “vision document” outlining potential uses resulting from public consultations and meetings with community groups. These include the creation of industrial and leisure facilities, as well as green space. One community council also called for the land to be redeveloped into a cruise port. However, questions remain over its future usage after the Scottish Government called in a planning application linked to part of the site. If approved, the bid could see an energy substation erected to serve an offshore wind farm backed by Edinburgh-based Red Rock Power, which is owned by China’s State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC). The call-in prompted outcry last month as it coincided with the First Minister’s trip to China, which included a meeting with SDIC. However, Planning Minister Kevin Stewart denied there was a connection, saying that he took the step prior to the trip, adding: “There was no connection whatsoever to the First Minister’s visit to China.” Yesterday officials outlined the process after Gray accused ministers of “riding roughshod over local democracy”.
The National 16th May 2018 read more »