Ironbridge Power Station: Rat-running and delays among 'serious failings' in redevelopment - councillor

A councillor has outlined "serious failings" of plans to build 1,000 houses on the former Ironbridge Power Station site – which would increase rat-running and delays at a notorious junction.

The cooling towers in Ironbridge were demolished in 2019
The cooling towers in Ironbridge were demolished in 2019

Dan Thomas was speaking on behalf of residents in his Much Wenlock ward at the southern planning committee meeting on Tuesday.

Councillor Thomas highlighted numerous attempts to have concerns relating to highways addressed – which had so far gone unanswered.

Particular concern centred around greater delays at the Gaskell Corner junction, which developer Harworth admitted was a "known bottleneck", and the increase in rat-running through Much Wenlock's narrow roads.

Councillor Thomas, who is also the town mayor, said: "This application has serious failings that will have a seriously detrimental impact on the people of Much Wenlock.

"In December last year and February of this year Much Wenlock Town Council wrote formally to Shropshire Council outlining our transport objections to this application.

Councillor Daniel Thomas

"These written objections provided some technical detail questioning the accuracy of the applicant’s transport reports, particularly in relation to Much Wenlock and the Gaskell Corner junction. Sufficient details justified an answer from our Shropshire highways team. None were received.

"In March this year members of Much Wenlock Town Council, plus our then Shropshire member David Turner, held a meeting with highways officers. The traffic concerns of Much Wenlock were very clearly delivered. Again, we received no response.

"I’m very sorry to say that all the work that we carried out as a town council to provide the highways department with sensible, robust questions about the impact of this development on Much Wenlock has been ignored."

Councillor Thomas said a scheme had not been confirmed to mitigate the transport issues, although Harworth had promised a £250,000 contribution towards work at the junction in the future.

"All we are asking in Much Wenlock, is surely Harworth should be told to provide a scheme that actually does work," he said.

"Harworth’s traffic will double the delays and queues at the Gaskell Corner junction; a junction that they themselves describe as a 'known bottleneck'. These delays will massively increase the rat-running through Wenlock; is anything being proposed to prevent this? The answer’s no.

"There are absolutely no guarantees and I’m afraid this is unacceptable to Much Wenlock."

The decision to grant permission to the development was deferred over issues with the low level of affordable housing.

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