Shropshire

Ironbridge power station demolished confirmed by council

Aerial view of the cooling towers Image copyright Uniper
Image caption Ironbridge's cooling towers are a well-known sight in Shropshire

The Ironbridge power station, a feature of the Shropshire landscape since the 1960s, will be demolished from next year, the council has confirmed.

It has been out of use since 2015 and was put up for sale by operators Uniper in February.

The demolition, particularly of the cooling towers, has divided local opinion with some residents seeing them as part of the town's heritage.

The demolition will take three years.

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The plant was coal-fired from 1969 and converted to biomass in 2012. Three years later it stopped production due to an EU initiative which aimed to control certain emissions.

Image copyright E.On
Image caption The power station is seen in an aerial view from 26 March 1968, before it was connected to the National Grid

Uniper spokeswoman Gill Dickinson said Shropshire Council's decision "will enable us to continue the journey to bring forward the site's future development".

It is expected that the 140-hectare site will mainly attract interest for residential development, after it is first decontaminated, which Uniper says will cost £50m.

Just save one?

Opinion is divided among residents about the changes to their surroundings.

Barry Jones, whose father Desmond helped to build the cooling towers, said: "There is a definite feeling of sadness to see them go."

Image copyright Barry Jones
Image caption Mr Jones' father, Desmond Jones (front right), worked on the towers' construction

"Most people think it would be good to at least save one as an icon of the power generation at that site," he said.

Another resident, Darran Dorsett said on Facebook: "It is a shame to see them go, but... the cost of maintenance would not make it economically viable."

Robert Bagley added there will be "lovely views when they have gone".

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