Last month an outline planning application was put forward on behalf of site-owners ENGIE for a large, mixed-use development at the site of Rugeley Power Station. The proposal includes plans for up to 2,300 homes, as well as a retirement home and a primary school.
The power station, decommissioned in June 2016, is in the process of being demolished, a process which is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
The 139 hectare site is likely to need remediation before the construction process begins due to the historic use of the site as a power station and various works since 1882.
Section taken from application form – answered ‘yes’ to potential for contamination.
Historical map from 1981:
Coal-fired power stations can be a source of air and water pollution. Burning coal can release pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), sulfur trioxide (SO3), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), condensable PM, mercury (Hg), trace metals and radioactive substances. This is on top of the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) which is a greenhouse gas contributing to global warming.
Rugeley A power station, decommissioned and demolished in 1994, was remediated prior to residential development at a cost of £4.8 million. Following a similar costing, it could cost upward of £21 million to remediate the entire Rugeley B site.
Following remediation, the plans submitted to Cannock Chase council on behalf of ENGIE propose to transform the site into an area for sustainable living which stimulates the local economy.
The power station:
Colin Macpherson, development director at ENGIE has said, “The move to take what was historically a carbon-polluting site and convert it into something that is a low carbon site for people to live and work is really really important to me, my team and the business.”
The new development is thought likely to create a number of jobs in the area, as well as being at the forefront of eco-friendly development, with plans to run all homes entirely on renewable energy. This is a stark change from the years of coal power seen at the site in the past.
Should the outline application be approved, detailed plans for the site would need to be submitted to the council and if it goes ahead, construction could start as soon as next year.
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