Ironbridge Power Station earmarked for housing by Shropshire Council
The former Ironbridge Power Station is one of a number of sites earmarked to help build 10,000 extra houses in the county by 2036.
Brownfield sites such as the power station and Clive Barracks, near Market Drayton, are among those Shropshire Council believes will create major development opportunities for housing and employment in the future.
But the council has warned that due to the sensitive nature of the sites careful planning will be needed before development begins.
Councillor Nicola Lowery, ward member for the Ironbridge Gorge, has called for the site to focus on a mixed use development, rather than solely housing.
She said: “The future of the Ironbridge Power Station and the opportunities that it presents for economic growth are significant.
“I maintain my preference for a mixed use redevelopment of the power station site, as it is a site of considerable scale which could enable us to expand the destination offering for our region and sustainable transport links, as I and my colleagues continue to support efforts to restore a rail link into the Gorge.
“While some housing development will be inevitable, I hope a responsible developer is secured that approaches the site’s potential with the sensitivity and vision it deserves to ensure they fully consider the potential of the Ironbridge Power Station as a mixed use site.”
Shropshire Council is currently reviewing its local plan, moving it forward by 10 years. The power station site is one of those being put forward in the new plan.
Although almost 19,000 homes are already set to be built in the county, the plan says a further 10,000 will be needed by 2036.
The extra 10,347 houses are mostly planned for the towns in Shropshire, with 30 per cent planned for Shrewsbury, 24.5 per cent planned for the bigger towns such as Market Drayton, and Whitchurch, 18 per cent for smaller towns such as Much Wenlock and Bishop’s Castle, and 27.5 per cent for rural areas.
About 300 hectares of employment development would be earmarked under the local plan.
The council’s cabinet voted to press ahead with the plan at its cabinet meeting last week, which will see it go out to consultation on the proposals.
A report to the meeting said: “The Combined Authority for the West Midlands brings together the metropolitan authorities within adjoining areas to drive forward the Midlands Engine.
“Shropshire has the potential to benefit from this enterprise via the M54 corridor and the strategic highway network linking together key investment locations at Wolverhampton, Telford, Shifnal, Albrighton and Bridgnorth; at major redevelopment locations which include Clive Barracks, Tern Hill near Market Drayton and the former Ironbridge Power Station; and at those created around RAF Cosford.”
“In addition to the preferred housing requirement, there will be other development opportunities to deliver large mixed-use strategic sites likely to become available during the plan period.”
The delivery of these additional strategic sites will therefore supplement the overall housing and employment requirements in order to support economic growth.
“There are known mixed use, brownfield opportunities at the former Ironbridge Power Station and at Clive Barracks at Tern Hill. These are significant sites and will require long lead-in periods to ensure appropriate master-planning and site remediation before development can commence. The Local Plan Review will provide a positive framework for ongoing discussions with the site owners in order to secure their appropriate re-development.”
There will now be an eight-week public consultation on the local plan, which will start on Friday and close on December 22.