Fears Rugeley Power Station redevelopment will be delayed by HS2
Proposed work on the HS2 rail link will delay a ‘vital’ redevelopment of the former Rugeley Power Station, council bosses have revealed.
Part of the site will be used during construction of the second phase of the high-speed rail line – pushing back the building of hundreds of homes and business units – under plans.
Lichfield District Council is spending up £44,000 on a Parliamentary Agent to ‘petition’ for changes to the Phase 2 Hybrid Bill as it passes through government.
A district council report states the power station redevelopment could be ‘undeliverable’ by 2029 if HS2 uses the site.
Council leader Mike Wilcox said: “The redevelopment of Rugeley Power Station is absolutely vital.
“It is a key site to ourselves and Cannock (Chase District Council) and we want to work with them to bring it forward as soon as possible.
“Now it looks like HS2 wants to take part of the site for the construction, which could delay things. It will be one of the issues we are taking up with our Parliamentary Agent.
“HS2 will bring no benefits to the district whatsoever, just years of disruption. We have said it from day one.
“It will just bring more harm and traffic issues around places like Fradley, Armitage and Handsacre.
“We have already achieved some concessions and we will continue to fight for them during the second phase.”
George Adamson, leader of Cannock Chase District Council, which is responsible for around half of the power station site, said: “The Government has said HS2 is taking priority over everything.
“It could delay the power station development by a very, very long time. HS2 is going to take years.
“It is extremely disappointing. We wanted it redeveloped as quickly as possible and see new houses and new jobs created.”
He added: “HS2 will create benefits for us in terms of connecting the Midlands to the south in the long term – but in the medium term it is going to cause us some problems.”
The power station closed in June 2016, with the loss of around 120 jobs.