Shropshire Star comment: Power station site row depressing

By Shropshire Star | Opinions | Published:

It is utterly depressing and entirely predictable that a row is brewing over plans to redevelop the former power station site at Ironbridge.

Ironbridge Power Station is set to be redeveloped

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Councils cannot see eye to eye over the site, with Telford & Wrekin concerned that it will lose out.

In this age of political schisms, where Brexit has taught us that everything and nothing are possible, local councillors can and must do better. The site is of enormous strategic importance for it is clear that the region has built too few houses over recent decades.

More must be done to help young adults and new families to get onto the housing ladder.

And the dearth of suitable development sites means the former Ironbridge Power Station is even more important than it might otherwise be.

The gorge is an enormously important part of the region’s economy.

It generates vast sums as tourists flock to it each year, providing revenue for local businesses and securing vital employment for a significant number of people. It is enormously sensitive, being located near to the entrance to the Gorge area.

There are residents living nearby, whose lives must not be adversely affected. And there must not be too much strain placed on the local infrastructure.

One would imagine the redevelopment plans would be relatively straightforward. All are in accord that the site’s future use lies with housing and all are aware of the urgent need for such. Thereafter, details should be easily to agree upon.


And yet it seems the devil is in the detail as councillors are edging towards a political spat between two neighbouring authorities.

It is time for such partisanship to be nipped in the bud. Councillors have a duty to work for the greater good and to recognise the cross-border impact that this site will have. There must be no dereliction of duty or failure to observe the bigger picture. With good will on both sides, there is a unique and vitally important opportunity to bring about significant good for all.

Political point-scoring and the trivialisation of genuine issues should not be a part of any equation. Brexit has made the public fed up and distrusting of politicians: we deserve better and the public will not tolerate needless political point-scoring.


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