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Ironbridge Power Station: Talks to be held over future of landmark

Telford | News | Published:

Talks will be held next month to discuss the future of Ironbridge Power Station.

The owner of the station says it will be in a position to reveal its position on the future of the landmark site next month.

It comes after it was announced that Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire Council wanted to meet as soon as possible to discuss plans for the power station.

Uniper, which owns the site and is currently in charge of its decommissioning, says it welcomes the chance to talk with council officers.

But it says it has instead asked to meet in February, when it will be able to move the discussion on.

The station sits within Shropshire Council's boundary but the future of the development is key to neighbouring Telford & Wrekin Council, responsible for Ironbridge only minutes up the road.

Gill Dickinson, a spokeswoman for Uniper, said: "We're pleased to have been invited by Shropshire Council to provide them and other local authority stakeholders with a briefing on our site at Ironbridge.

"However, we've suggested that we'll be in a better position to share our thinking with them early next month, and are waiting to confirm a mutually convenient date with them."

Ironbridge Power Station, which features a series of iconic cooling towers that dominate the valley landscape, was switched off on November 20, 2015.

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Although calls have been made to retain the towers, demolition work is to begin in the middle of next year, and will take around three years to complete.

A number of suggestions have been made for the future of the site, including the development of Telford Steam Railway, which has expressed an interest in extending its line south from the current station at Lawley into the Ironbridge Gorge, providing new means of transport and a tourist attraction.

This plan has been supported by Telford & Wrekin council's ward member for Ironbridge, Councillor Nicola Lowery, who has been working with the railway to put together a feasibility plan.

Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council's cabinet member in charge of business and the economy, said officers at the authority are in discussions with Uniper.

Though both councils say they are interested in using the site in a way that will benefit both, and not necessarily for housing, Uniper as the owners, can do as they see fit with the power station in Buildwas.

It is similar to the situation at Copthorne Barracks where Shrewsbury councillors were hoping for a mixed-use development but owners, the Ministry of Defence, have instead submitted plans for 200 homes.

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