The Harworth Way
Sustainability is at the heart of the masterplan for Benthall Grange. The development will incorporate extensive green space, including 56 acres reserved exclusively for protecting biodiversity, and site preparation works have seen the installation of six great crested newt ponds, a bat barn and a 21 metre-tall nesting tower. Harworth has also maximised recycling of materials from the site, reclaiming around 35,000 tonnes of metal and 70,000 tonnes of crushed concrete for reuse in the development, with the remains of the site’s four cooling towers being used to construct new cycle and footpaths.
Harworth is also exploring opportunities to bring back into use the site’s two rail links to the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton mainline. This includes a partnership with Revolution VLR, a consotrium of advanced manufacturing companies aiming to develop the next generation of “very light rail” vehicles and technologies, to develop a test vehicle and track along a disused railway at the site.
Harworth Group hosted a public consultation event in October 2018 to present its initial plans, with over 600 people in attendance. Feedback from the consultation contributed to the emerging masterplan for the site, which was presented at the follow up public consultation event in May 2019.
The masterplan was submitted to both Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Councils in December 2019. Following a resolution to grant planning permission for the development from Telford & Wrekin Council in May 2021, Shropshire Council also resolved to grant planning subject to legal agreement in September 2021. Planning permission was also received for the release 1.9 million tonnes of saleable sand and gravel as part of site preparation works over a period of five years.
Following the successful demolition of the four cooling towers in December 2019, Harworth have since concluded the demolition programme on-site following the demolition of the Bunker Bay (July 2020), Tank Bay (January 2021), Boiler Bay (February 2021) and the 204 metre-high Chimney Stack (September 2021). The National Grid and Western Power Distribution substations and equipment will not be demolished, with the assets forming part of the overall masterplan.
Alongside the ongoing clearance and ground works to prepare the first parcels of development, Harworth are also exploring the feasibility of reintroducing rail services from the site, utilsing the site’s existing rail assets.
In 2022, the development adopted the name Benthall Grange, reflecting the surrounding community.