Clearing of rubble from Rugeley Power Station begins as remediation work continues

Work to transform the former site of Rugeley Power Station after the cooling towers were brought down is already under way, chiefs have said.

A road sweeper goes past what remains of one of the cooling towers
A road sweeper goes past what remains of one of the cooling towers

The four structures – around 400ft high – which had dominated the skyline were brought down in a controlled explosion on Sunday.

And workers are already on site clearing away rubble from the cooling towers as remediation work – needed to clear the land before development – moves forward. That work is expected to finish by the end of next year.

The work, which has already been ongoing on the site, will pave the way for 2,300 low-carbon homes and a low-carbon all-through school.

The wider Rugeley master-plan also includes more than 12 acres of employment space, a new neighbourhood centre and a country park along the River Trent.

A spokeswoman for ENGIE said: "Initial undertakings will focus on the completion of remediation work and development of core infrastructure, whilst progressing the school design.

"The remediation work started last month and is projected to complete in the winter of 2022. Infrastructure will begin in the autumn with housing parcels following remediation.

"The development is planned to advance in phases: the first parcels of land to be developed are those in the north of the development where the coal yards were located."

Pete Jones took this photo of the towers being demolished

Meanwhile, the demolition of the cooling towers has been met with a mixed reaction from people living in the area – who said they were sad to see the landmark go. But the move has been welcomed by council leaders who described it as a "significant milestone" for its redevelopment.

Lichfield District Council's leader Councillor Doug Pullen said: "I’m delighted that we have reached this significant milestone in the re-development of this key site and can start looking forward to the opportunities that its regeneration will bring in terms of new housing, employment, education and leisure facilities working with partner authorities and with ENGIE."

Councillor Philip White, Staffordshire County Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills, said the site "will be a model" for other sites across the UK.

The cooling towers can no longer be seen from Thorn Close after their demolition

He added: "Demolition of the cooling towers at the Rugeley power station site marks a significant milestone for its redevelopment. We will now begin to see the site being re-shaped into a low carbon community with residential, employment, education and leisure space.

"The development is exciting for us as a county council as it will contain our first all-through school. It also helps us to achieve our priorities and regenerating our towns and key transport corridors, supporting small businesses and ensuring people have the skills needed to take advantage of employment opportunities. The re-purposing of the site is another fine example of how the private sector is working with local government to achieve the best outcomes for our communities."

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