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The towers are coming down: Ironbridge Power Station demolition gets go-ahead

By Sophie Madden | Ironbridge | News | Published:

The full demolition of Ironbridge Power Station can now begin, after the plans were today given the go-ahead.

Plans were submitted in September for the main demolition of Shropshire's landmark power station.

The have now been approved by Shropshire Council.

Full demolition of the main power station site is set to begin in Spring 2018 and will include the removal of all the buildings that have come to the end of their operational life.

The work is expected to take about 36 months and it is anticipated that the site's iconic pink cooling towers will be demolished using controlled detonation.

Tinsley Towers, a pair of iconic cooling towers near to the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, come crashing down in 2008

Gill Dickinson, a spokeswoman for power station owners Uniper, said: " Uniper is pleased to announce that the planning application for the main demolition of Uniper’s decommissioned power station at Ironbridge has been approved by Shropshire Council.

"This consent will enable us to continue the journey to bring forward the site’s future redevelopment.

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"No contractor has yet been appointed to carry out the demolition work, but we will continue to keep the local community updated on progress."

Before the work begins, Shropshire Council has said Uniper must provide a scheme to keep people up-to-date with the project, a noise monitoring scheme, dust and asbestos managing plans, a water management plan to prevent contamination of local waterways and a scheme to secure appropriate drainage of the restored site.

The power station site

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Details will also be needed of the scheme to route HGVs needed during the work.

Mitigation should also be made to possible animal habitats on the site.

Demolition will run from Monday to Friday from 7am to to 7pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm.

There will be no working on Sundays or Bank Holiday Mondays.

The power station has been shut since November 2015 and earlier this year, the 141-hectare site was put up for sale.

Former employee Mike Smith turned the power off just after 2.30pm on November 20.

Mike Smith switches off the power

Property experts Cushman and Wakefield are handling the sale process on behalf of Uniper.

The plant was officially switched off on November 20, 2015, after 46 years of service, following an EU directive.

Under the EU, ageing plants like Ironbridge were legally limited in the emissions they can produce and its operating hours were restricted in 2008.

The EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive said the station had to end its life after passing the milestone of generating power for a total of 20,000 hours since January 1, 2008.

Ironbridge Power Station's iconic pink cooling towers

So far, there has been mixed reactions to the potential loss of its iconic pink cooling towers, with many saying they would miss the iconic feature in the Ironbridge Gorge.

Councillors and groups from both Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are hoping to work with Uniper on the future of the site, which is one of the most important in both council areas.

The company said it had reached the decision to seek a buyer after considering a number of options for the site.

The site is nearing completion of decommissioning and earlier this year, Uniper said the full demolition of the site was expected to begin in 2018.

Uniper has set up both an enquiry line and an email address for anyone with questions regarding the site plans.

People should contact 0121 270 8855 and UniperUK@outlook.com respectively.

Any enquiries relating to the site sale process should be directed to david.tonks@cushwake.com

Sophie Madden

By Sophie Madden
@SMadden_Star

Senior reporter based out of the head office in Ketley covering the Telford area.

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