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More talks needed over Ironbridge Power Station, councillor warns

By Mat Growcott | Ironbridge | News | Published:

Reaction to plans to transform the Ironbridge Power Station into a new community have been cautiously popular, but residents have said more needs to be done to allay certain fears.

Ironbridge Power Station is set to be redeveloped

Councillor Carolyn Healy, ward member for the Ironbridge Gorge, said people are worried about thousands of new cars coming to the area.

And while people are happy about the idea of a new passenger railway service and the potential that has for tourism, Councillor Healy said Harworth need to add extra detail as soon as possible.

People were given the chance to look at the latest proposals during a public consultation at the power station last week.

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The Harworth Group, which bought the former power station site last year, has outlined plans to create about 1,000 homes, space for businesses and leisure facilities, a school, village centre and park and ride scheme.

"Most people in the gorge are pragmatic and recognise the site is a disused power station," Councillor Healy said.

"It will need demolition.

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The latest plans were shown to the public at a consultation event

"But because of the sheer scale of the development, you're doubling the size of our community and that will have an impact. People are understandably worried about what that impact will be.

"An obvious one is traffic – homes having two, possibly three cars and where those cars will go.

"People are pleased to see rail being considered, but there's no provider lined up for there, and that might not happen. People aren't just getting carried away with the plans, because they understand that might not come off."

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Councillor Healy said it was difficult for Harworth, because they are still early in the development of their plans.

But she said their needed to be more assurances on long term plans for start-up business units on the site, for the medical centre and how it will be staffed and for how the site will visually impact on those using Dale End Park.

"People have got some really good ideas and aspirations for the site, and Harworth seem to be taking ideas on board.

"I would love to see more of an engagement, and that needs to carry on beyond the outlining planning application.

"As it then goes through the process, and parts of the site are let for development, then you'll have further planning applications and the master plan evolves.

"It's not about one more consultation event, but ongoing so people do feel their views matter throughout the development, which will go on for years."

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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