'Once in a lifetime' plans for Ironbridge Power Station site are backed
A former councillor, and the chair of Telford & Wrekin Conservatives, has backed plans for the “once in a lifetime” transformation of the former Ironbridge Power Station site.
Nicola Lowery, a former borough councillor for Ironbridge Gorge, said she is pleased conversations are on-going to increase GP capacity ahead of the development which could see 1,000 homes and several business open on the site.
Ms Lowery added that she had also held talks with Network Rail about a heritage railway opening.
After Shropshire Council’s cabinet agreed to put the site forward for public consultation from next month, she said: “I am encouraged that the Shropshire Local Plan Review and consultation on strategic sites acknowledges the close proximity of the site to the Severn Gorge Conservation Area and Ironbridge World Heritage site.
“As whilst the site is within the jurisdiction of Shropshire Council, I have over the last few years continued to reiterate the proximity and potential impact of this development to ensure the views of our community here in the Ironbridge Gorge are heard.
"It is positive to see that many ideas put forward for the site have been incorporated within the mixed-use development as there is a significant opportunity to provide high-quality employment, services and facilities that will benefit the local area providing that sufficient infrastructure is put in place to mitigate against the impact of development, which will hopefully include green infrastructure.”
She added: “Over the last three years I have spoken of the importance of securing a positive regeneration scheme and I am pleased that conversations are continuing with representatives of Ironbridge Medical Practice and both the Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups to increase GP capacity in the local area as this was a key concern I and stakeholders raised to ensure we sufficiently serve health needs of the increased population arising from the proposed development.
"I am delighted that the potential to re-open the railway line is being actively investigated and to see conversations continue with key interested rail groups which I know have worked extremely hard to engage with the land owners and Network Rail to ensure we see a heritage rail service introduced as an iconic part of this development.
“Ensuring natural environment and heritage assets also appears to be a key consideration for this diverse site and I am pleased to see that this has been integrated into the redevelopment as this truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure a beneficial use for this prominent site."