Rugeley Power Station demolition approved bringing end of an era
The iconic Rugeley Power Station is to be brought crashing to the ground after its demolition was finally agreed.
Planning bosses have approved an application to demolish the main B power station, which closed in 2016, in a move which will signal the end of an era in Staffordshire.
The towers in Armitage Road have overlooked the landscape for decades and mystery has surrounded when the work to bulldoze it would begin.
But Lichfield District Council have finally given the plans the green light and owner, Engie, has appointed a contractor which has started work on the site. The demolition is due to take two and a half years but a firm date to bring down the main power station has yet to be confirmed.
Plans for 1,800 homes have been earmarked for the 374-acre land once the site has cleared while 4,500 jobs could be created as part of plans for a major high-tech business centre dubbed Europe's Silicon Valley.
Developers managing the demolition of the power station have been told the work should not get in the way of the construction of HS2, which will run nearby.
Councillor George Adamson said: "We are very pleased work is starting at last so the owners can get on with developing the site.
"It has been sitting there doing nothing for two years. The sooner they get on with the work, the better.
"The plans should bring a lot of jobs to the area which I welcome. There will be noise and mess during the demolition but we are talking with developers and asking them to keep the disruption to a minimum for residents in Rugeley."
Owners said: “ENGIE is pleased to confirm that we have received approval from Lichfield District Council and Cannock Chase District Council for the demolition of Rugeley Power Station.
"The demolition contractor has been mobilising in recent months and structural demolition will commence, in line with the conditions associated with the approval, once all the building interiors have been removed. Overall the demolition of the power station and associated buildings is scheduled to take approximately two and a half years.”
Rugeley A power station opened in 1961 while Rugeley B power station, which provided enough electricity to power around half a million homes, followed nine years later.
There were plans to convert the power station to run on biomass fuel in 2012 but they were never carried out. It eventually closed in June 2016 and 120 jobs were lost.
Part of the closed-down Rugeley Power Station will be used to provide an electricity supply for the new HS2 line from Birmingham to Crewe.