Major milestone in Rugeley’s transition towards a low-carbon future
• Rugeley regeneration to demonstrate significant potential for sustainable brownfield redevelopment projects to support UK’s transition to Net Zero
The regeneration of the Rugeley B coal fired power station site has today achieved a major milestone with the controlled demolition of the four 117m concrete cooling towers that have dominated the local skyline for decades. ENGIE, the leading energy, services and regeneration specialist which formerly operated the station will now progress with ambitious plans to redevelop the site into low-carbon mixed use community.
The regeneration project will be the first time a major UK energy company will lead the repurposing of one of its own sites, and will demonstrate the potential for sustainable brownfield redevelopment to support the UK’s transition to Net Zero by 2050. The Rugeley site will now be developed into one of the lowest carbon mixed use developments of its size in the UK, utilising innovative technologies including onsite renewable energy generation and smart homes incorporating battery and solar PV solutions.
Following three years of community engagement, outline planning permission was granted in April this year to deliver a mixed-use development which will include 2,300 new low carbon homes and an “all-through” school. The wider Rugeley development will also comprise more than 12 acres of employment space, a new neighbourhood centre and a country park alongside the River Trent – providing access to a section of riverside which has been inaccessible for decades.
Colin Macpherson, Divisional CEO for ENGIE UK & Ireland, said: “The next ten years are crucial to address the climate crisis – and in the same timescale this regeneration project will become a reference of sustainable living fit for the UK’s net zero future. The local people have been at the heart of every decision, concept and planning application, with our teams determined to deliver something special for the people of Rugeley – that will inject new life, jobs, homes and education into the community.
“This is a really meaningful example of building back greener and better in the wake of the Covid pandemic and we are lucky to have had the backing and support of Cannock Chase District Council, Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council, and local Members of Parliament to bring this to fruition. We hope this regeneration will become a blueprint for other former carbon intensive industrial centres in the UK to create positive outcomes for their communities compatible with a net zero future.”
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We are committed to building back greener from the pandemic and ENGIE’s low carbon regeneration project is a great initiative demonstrating how industrial sites can be revitalised to provide sustainable living.
“This innovative redevelopment will help breathe new life into the local community, providing new jobs, thousands of low carbon homes and a new school, while supporting our ambitious climate commitments.”