Planning Secured for 1,000-Home Mixed Use Development in Ironbridge

Harworth Group plc, a leading regenerator of land and property for development and investment, is pleased to announce that Shropshire Council’s Southern Planning Committee has resolved to grant planning permission for the regeneration of the former Ironbridge Power Station in Shropshire into a mixed-use development comprising up to 1,000 new homes, alongside a range of commercial, leisure and community uses. This follows a resolution to grant planning permission for the development from Telford & Wrekin Council in May 2021.

The 350-acre former Ironbridge Power Station site was acquired by Harworth in June 2018 from Uniper plc, having previously been used for electricity generation for over 80 years. Located less than a mile from the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, the site is bordered by the River Severn to the north and an extensive area of ancient woodland to the south.

Harworth held its first public consultation event at the site in October 2018 and used stakeholder feedback to create an illustrative masterplan for the site. In June 2019, Harworth commenced demolition works to remove the former power station buildings and associated infrastructure, which included the demolition of the power station’s four cooling towers later that year. The outline planning application for the development was submitted in December 2019, alongside a separate application to extract up to 1.9 million tonnes of sand and gravel as part of the site preparation works.

The proposed development will deliver up to 1,000 new homes, in addition to a retirement village, up to 200,000 sq ft of employment space comprising offices and light industrial units, and a local centre offering convenience retail and other services. The plans will also provide a range of community amenities such as allotments, sports pitches, and a new primary school. In addition, the former power station’s 1930s pumphouse will be retained as part of the proposals and transformed into a flexible space for community and leisure uses.

The provision of green infrastructure is central to Harworth’s masterplan. The development will include a comprehensive network of off-road walking and cycling routes to enable active travel choices and provide connectivity to the surrounding area, and Harworth is currently exploring opportunities to bring the old railway link to the site back into use. The plans will also provide extensive green space such as pocket parks, play areas and vegetation throughout the public realm, and several new attenuation ponds, which will offer enhanced protection for local wildlife.

Site preparation works are ongoing, with demolition works due to be substantially complete by the end of this year. The development will then be delivered in phases over 10 to 15 years.

“Our masterplan for Ironbridge Power Station will create a sustainable mixed-use community that draws on the area’s industrial history and reflects its proximity to a World Heritage Site. In addition to 1,000 new homes and employment space, the site will deliver new community infrastructure and extensive green space, benefiting residents and the wider environment.

This decision marks a significant milestone for Harworth, taking our total residential pipeline to over 10,000 consented plots for the first time. Together with over 18,000 potential further plots identified across our strategic land sites, this represents a significant driver of long-term value for the business. Demand for our serviced residential plots, as well as our industrial and logistics space, remains very strong, reflecting the structural tailwinds across our end markets.”

Lynda Shillaw, Chief Executive, Harworth Group plc