Major concerns about far-reaching plans for former Power Station site
Far-reaching plans to redevelop the former Ironbridge Power Station site could lead to Telford and Wrekin residents suffering the majority of the impact while receiving none of the benefits, it has been warned.
Shropshire Council has identified the power station site as one of three key sites for development as part of its local plan review. The plans will be discussed at Shropshire Council’s Cabinet at a meeting on 12 June.
Development company Harworth has bought the site and will demolish the iconic 205 metre high cooling towers as they are deteriorating structurally.
Supported by Shropshire Council, Harworth is then planning to build 1,000 homes on the site with businesses, leisure facilities, a school, a new medical facility and a village centre.
But Councillor Carolyn Healy, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for the Visitor Economy and the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, has concerns about the traffic impact on Ironbridge and Coalbrookdale and the future of Ironbridge Medical Practice.
The former Ironbridge Power Station site is in Shropshire Council’s area but is very close to the border with Telford & Wrekin Council are and some borough residents in Buildwas Road overlook the site.
“Ironbridge is the nearest local centre to the Power Station site,” said Councillor Healy.
“It is inevitable that the proposed development will result in significantly increased traffic in the area and increased pressure on local services.
“Of particular concern to me is the future of Ironbridge Medical Practice as the draft consultation document refers to a new medical facility within the proposed development.
“Given that there is a national shortage of GPs, it is clear to me that this could lead to the closure of Ironbridge Medical Practice.
“For many elderly residents and others without access to a car, this would have a major impact and would be a real loss and something I would strongly oppose.
“I recognise that the power station must be demolished and the site cleaned up but I have real concerns that the current proposals will mean Shropshire will get all the benefit while Telford and Wrekin – in particular the residents of The Gorge – will suffer the greatest impact.”
Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Housing, Transport and Infrastructure, said: “This looks to be a very significant development right on the border of Telford and Wrekin and I can only hope that our voice will be listened to by Shropshire Council.
“The impact on our infrastructure should not be under-estimated – it is a development that would generate significant extra traffic as well as pressure on services like water and power.”
(Picture courtesy of Martin Hodgkiss Photography)