A 250-metre exclusion zone was in place around the blast site – centred on the demolition of the former power station’s ‘Tank Bay’ building which was used to store water for the iconic cooling towers which stood at the site until just over a year ago.
There were fears that the weather could delay the work, but it took place as planned at 11am.
Ironbridge Gorge ward representative Councillor Carolyn Healy said: “I watched the demolition of the tank bay with my children. It wasn’t as spectacular as the demolition of the cooling towers, but still a loud bang heard as far away as Priorslee.
See the demolition here:
Footage courtesy of Gorilla Drones and Demolition Services Ltd
“It was good to see that people from outside of the area had heeded the advice to stay away due to lockdown and flooding in the Gorge. There were just a few locals at key view points, all adhering to social distancing, who watched a bit more of the power station disappear.”
Former councillor and Ironbridge resident Nicola Lowery said: “Tank Bay demolition/detonation by Harworth Group at the former Ironbridge power station was on the dot today at 11am today. A powerful end to a historic site.”
Afterwards site operator Harworth Group plc said the demolition of the went “entirely to plan” and that the all-clear was given just before 12.30pm.
Harworth’s project manager Matt Timmins said: “We have been working on the Tank Bay demolition programme for a number of months. Just like the cooling towers and last year’s Bunker Bay blow down, it was subject to a detailed design and full compliance with Covid-19 restrictions and a series of conditions required by Shropshire Council.
“The Tank Bay was blown down just after 11am and I’m pleased to say that we achieved it with minimal disruption.”
The company said that the main concern was to bring the Tank Bay down safely and in full compliance with the Section 81 notice issued by the council for this purpose.
Mr Timmins added. “Everything went exactly to design, and we’re delighted that Demolition Services Ltd and our experienced advisors, including RVA Group, did another fantastic job.
"The contractors will now start work on the clear up which will involve processing through the materials, some of which will be used in the development process where possible.
“We have just under a year’s worth of work to complete on the demolition and we would like to thank the local community and wider stakeholders for their continued patience in support of our ongoing regeneration of the former Ironbridge Power Station site.”
The ongoing demolition work is due to be completed later this year towards the end of this year.
Harworth, which is working on a redevelopment plan for the site, involving up to 1,000 homes, had warned that the work could see dust travelling beyond the exclusion zone, and urged residents with breathing conditions to remain indoors.
Previous demolition work has seen the landmark cooling towers destroyed, as well as the ‘Bunker Bay’ building.
The four iconic cooling towers were demolished in December 2019 when it took less then 10 seconds to pull them down in a controlled explosion.
The noise of the blast was heard from as far as Wolverhampton, with people in Donnington and Muxton reporting a sound like thunder while towers fell.
The Regneration company Harworth wants to create a new settlement at the site which is being jointly considered by Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin councils.
Earlier this month bosses submitted further environmental information for a major planning application for the proposals.
The developer has also submitted an application to Shropshire Council in relation to earthworks which could be carried out if and when outline planning permission for the proposals is granted.
In addition to 1,000 houses the scheme includes plans for a school and public amenities.