Demolition plan for Ironbridge cooling towers is drawn up

Demolition contractors have lodged their proposals for pulling down the cooling towers at Ironbridge power station, and are now waiting for the council’s response.

An aerial view of the cooling towers at Ironbridge which will soon be demolished. Photo: David Street Photography
An aerial view of the cooling towers at Ironbridge which will soon be demolished. Photo: David Street Photography

Iain Thomson of developer Harworth, which now owns the site, said a date for the demolition would be set once the plan had been approved.

He said residents would be given seven days’ notice of the demolition, and a 330-yard zone around the towers would be evacuated on the day.

“We put together a package of information that the council is now considering in accordance with Section 81 of the Building Act,” said Mr Thomson.

Residents living around the site this week reported hearing a loud rumbling sound from up to three miles away.

But Mr Thomson said this was just normal work, and was no indication that the demolition of the towers was imminent.

The towers will be pulled down by installing explosives just above the metal-framed legs which hold the towers up.

Charges will only be placed around two thirds of the circumference in order to control the direction in which they will collapse.

Water cooling tower number one

Mr Thomson said strenuous efforts would be made to minimise the amount of dust produced.

He added that the cost of demolition work on the site would be in excess of £10 million.

The company said it expected the towers to be demolished by the end of the year, although clearance work on the site would continue until September 2021.

Harworth bought the site from power company Uniper in June last year in a multi-million deal.

The developer has drawn up draft proposals which would see almost 1,000 homes, a new school and industrial units created around the site off Buildwas Road.

The large electricity sub station at the site will be retained.

The towers have been a familiar part of Ironbridge’s skyline for half a century. Work on the Ironbridge B power station began in 1963, and was due to have been completed by 1967, but delays to the work programme meant it did begin operating until 1969.

The 400ft towers were built from concrete, but a red pigment was added to help them blend in with the colour of the local soil. The power station closed in 2015 due to restrictions placed by pollution legislation. It was converted to run on biomass wood pellets in 2012.

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