Ironbridge Power Station homes plan ‘could take a year’ to get past council, say developers
Developers behind the Ironbridge Power Station development believe it could take a year for their application to get past Shropshire Council planning bosses.
Harworth still intends to bring down the famous cooling towers by Christmas and will give residents seven days notice of the demolition.
An outline planning application will be submitted to Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin councils that will show the masterplan for the site.
Developers said it was likely to include around 1,000 new homes to be built in phases, commercial uses including the re-use of the site's former pumphouse and community facilities like a local centre and school.
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A park and ride facility and the reintroduction of the railway connection are also still included in the plans. Harworth said Network Rail was still in support of the plans.
In a statement, Harworth said: "Our demolition programme is progressing well, with the scheme on time and on budget.
"The team has now entered into the turbine hall and begun the removal and scrap of old equipment.
"All of the asbestos sheeting has now been removed from each of the four cooling towers and has been safely disposed off-site."
Harworth have permission to pull down the cooling towers and is working through the conditions to ensure a controlled "blowdown".
"No date has been set for the blowdown but we still plan to bring them down by the end of the year," it said.
An outline planning application will be submitted in the coming months and could take up to a year to be fulling considered by Shropshire Council, Harworth said.
"Local people will be able to look at the masterplan and all of its supporting documentation on the Shropshire Council website once the council has received it," said the firm.
"Whilst we aren't proposing any further public consultation, all residents will be able to scrutinise and comment on the plans once published.
"Given it is one of Shropshire's key regeneration schemes, we anticipate it will take up to a year for the council to fully consider it prior to it being determined at a future planning committee."
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.