Standing for 50 years, gone in 20 seconds: Friday 6 December was a historic day for Ironbridge, but one tinged with a sense a sadness for many residents. The demolition of Ironbridge Power Station’s four cooling towers marked the crescendo of a plan to repurpose and rejuvenate the site for future generations.
Although demolishing the towers was undoubtedly the most complex part of the operation, it’s expected the process will take at least a further 18 months to complete. Having opened in 1969, the power station ceased production in 2015. While the demolition will remove an imposing piece of the landscape that has been ever-present for locals, the ambitious plans the owners of the site have put forward have given many locals food for thought.
Just before Christmas, Harworth Group submitted their planning application for the site’s long-term redevelopment. The outline application includes plans for 1,000 homes, a new local centre to deliver a combination of leisure, commercial, retail and health uses, a primary school, nature corridors, public open space and the reuse of the site’s pump house to support either retail, community or river-based uses. In addition, a separate application to Shropshire Council has been submitted to extract up to 1.9m tonnes of sand and gravel.
Readers should soon be able to access and comment on the plan on Shropshire Council’s website (shropshire.gov.uk). The planning process is expected to take between six and 12 months.