Plans for 400 homes, offices and shops on Didcot A site

What the site looks like since the three Didcot A power station cooling towers were blown up in July and, below, our front page on Monday, July 28, the day after the demolition

What the site looks like since the three Didcot A power station cooling towers were blown up in July and, below, our front page on Monday, July 28, the day after the demolition

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

PLANS have been revealed to build up to 400 homes, offices and shops on the former Didcot A Power Station, weeks after the cooling towers were demolished.

National development consultant Pegasus has asked Vale of White Horse District Council for its opinion on the scheme.

It hopes to use the site for housing and more than 100,000 square metres of shops, offices and warehouses.

The firm submitted its ideas to redevelop the site to the Vale on August 13, and said the site will be ready to redevelop early next year.

Pegasus director Gary Lees said: “This is a mixed-use redevelopment proposal – employment, general industrial warehousing, offices, residential and retail.”

RWE npower, which previously owned the site, signed a deal to sell 47 hectares of it to the Clowes development group for an undisclosed sum in April. But in principle, any developer could submit a speculative planning application for the site without owning it, then bid to develop it.

RWE npower is due to hand the site over to Crowes later this year, once the clear-up is finished following the demolition of the three cooling towers on Sunday, July 27.

Didcot Town Council leader Eleanor Hards said she and other town councillors did not want to see any residential development on the site.

She said: “We are not keen to see housing there because it is isolated from other residential areas in Didcot. You would be surrounded by small industrial use.

“We would rather see all-commercial use on the site.”

She went on: “I wouldn’t want to live somewhere out on a limb like that, it has very poor pedestrian and cycling routes to the rest of town. I’m just thinking of people having to get into their cars just to go to the shops.”

The Vale district council’s core policy for the site states that 29 hectares should be used for employment.

Planning officers are due to decide on Pegasus’s proposals by September 3.

It is expected that the council would then advise the company on submitting a full planning application.

The coal-powered station, which had been operating for 42 years, closed in March last year under EU moves to cut carbon emissions.

RWE npower still owns the rest of the Didcot A station, while the gas-fired Didcot B station is unaffected by the deal.

Three of the six 325ft cooling towers at the A site were demolished by contractors Coleman and Company at 5.01am on Sunday, July 27.

Some 32,000 tonnes of rubble and dust was collected by clean-up workers, to be used when the site is redeveloped.

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Comments (17)

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7:47am Tue 19 Aug 14

livid99 says...

"She went on: “I wouldn’t want to live somewhere out on a limb like that, it has very poor pedestrian and cycling routes to the rest of town. I’m just thinking of people having to get into their cars just to go to the shops.” .....

A bit like Great Western Park then ? Make some of the pedestrian routes into town or to the station (eg the A4130) a bit more pedestrian friendly, and people will use them.
"She went on: “I wouldn’t want to live somewhere out on a limb like that, it has very poor pedestrian and cycling routes to the rest of town. I’m just thinking of people having to get into their cars just to go to the shops.” ..... A bit like Great Western Park then ? Make some of the pedestrian routes into town or to the station (eg the A4130) a bit more pedestrian friendly, and people will use them. livid99
  • Score: 11

8:38am Tue 19 Aug 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

yep ur going to get housing.. Didcot has to find 2000 homes in the next 5 years!

personally wouldnt want to live there, there is some dodgy stuff from the power station in the soil there
yep ur going to get housing.. Didcot has to find 2000 homes in the next 5 years! personally wouldnt want to live there, there is some dodgy stuff from the power station in the soil there yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: -4

9:18am Tue 19 Aug 14

icba1957 says...

“I wouldn’t want to live somewhere out on a limb like that, it has very poor pedestrian and cycling routes to the rest of town. I’m just thinking of people having to get into their cars just to go to the shops.”

The leader of the council clearly knows nothing about planning procedures! Even without the proposal to include shops in the scheme (d'oh!) the granting of planning permission could and probably would be dependent on the necessary infrastructure being provided.
“I wouldn’t want to live somewhere out on a limb like that, it has very poor pedestrian and cycling routes to the rest of town. I’m just thinking of people having to get into their cars just to go to the shops.” The leader of the council clearly knows nothing about planning procedures! Even without the proposal to include shops in the scheme (d'oh!) the granting of planning permission could and probably would be dependent on the necessary infrastructure being provided. icba1957
  • Score: 2

10:32am Tue 19 Aug 14

EMBOX2 says...

It can't be used for housing, leave aside the fact the soil is contaminated, but Didcot C is going to be built where the Didcot A boiler house currently stands. I don't think homes will be allowed to be built so close to a new (gas) power station.
It can't be used for housing, leave aside the fact the soil is contaminated, but Didcot C is going to be built where the Didcot A boiler house currently stands. I don't think homes will be allowed to be built so close to a new (gas) power station. EMBOX2
  • Score: 4

12:13pm Tue 19 Aug 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

EMBOX2 wrote:
It can't be used for housing, leave aside the fact the soil is contaminated, but Didcot C is going to be built where the Didcot A boiler house currently stands. I don't think homes will be allowed to be built so close to a new (gas) power station.
thought Didcot C was going to be Nuclear?
[quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: It can't be used for housing, leave aside the fact the soil is contaminated, but Didcot C is going to be built where the Didcot A boiler house currently stands. I don't think homes will be allowed to be built so close to a new (gas) power station.[/p][/quote]thought Didcot C was going to be Nuclear? yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Tue 19 Aug 14

EMBOX2 says...

yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
EMBOX2 wrote:
It can't be used for housing, leave aside the fact the soil is contaminated, but Didcot C is going to be built where the Didcot A boiler house currently stands. I don't think homes will be allowed to be built so close to a new (gas) power station.
thought Didcot C was going to be Nuclear?
There was the slightest of chances but no, it will be gas - the high pressure gas main is (obviously) already in place, the 400kv switchyard & all connections are there, so its much cheaper (both financially and politically) for it to be gas.

I can only hope that we get a large cooling tower this time, not lots of little ones which eat up 6MW of power for the fans. Seems like a waste of energy to me.

I am told plans will be submitted late 2015, construction to start 2018 for completion in 2021. Oh and Didcot B is getting its life extended too.

Thanks to the mole at RWE for the info ;-)
[quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: It can't be used for housing, leave aside the fact the soil is contaminated, but Didcot C is going to be built where the Didcot A boiler house currently stands. I don't think homes will be allowed to be built so close to a new (gas) power station.[/p][/quote]thought Didcot C was going to be Nuclear?[/p][/quote]There was the slightest of chances but no, it will be gas - the high pressure gas main is (obviously) already in place, the 400kv switchyard & all connections are there, so its much cheaper (both financially and politically) for it to be gas. I can only hope that we get a large cooling tower this time, not lots of little ones which eat up 6MW of power for the fans. Seems like a waste of energy to me. I am told plans will be submitted late 2015, construction to start 2018 for completion in 2021. Oh and Didcot B is getting its life extended too. Thanks to the mole at RWE for the info ;-) EMBOX2
  • Score: 2

3:15pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Diddyman says...

EMBOX2, where do you get your info from and how do you know it's legit? Cant find anything anywhere which backs up what you're saying?
EMBOX2, where do you get your info from and how do you know it's legit? Cant find anything anywhere which backs up what you're saying? Diddyman
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Megs says...

Why does everyone think the Didcot power stations are in that town - just because of the name I suppose? Didcot councillors don't really have much say in it, since it is in Sutton Courtenay and therefore the Vale of White Horse. Frankly building houses there or anywhere else in the Vale will not render them "isolated" anymore than they are, for example, in Appleford, Culham, Milton, Drayton etc. etc. where new builds are coming on a pace. The area as a rural one - which it was until c.15 years ago, is done for anyway. It is no good, especially with the expansion of Didcot, to pretend this area is now anything other than a developing urbanisation. What did anyone who approved such development (i.e. councillors) expect?
Strangely enough, people do live alongside power stations and industrial sites through the UK and, given the commuter connections, will do so here. Those of us young enough can all look forward to the area of greater Didcot, which will eventually become combined with Steventon Garden City. To be fair, we need somewhere to house the increase in the population, especially as the "babyboomers" have the cheek to live beyond the prescibed 3 score years and ten.
Why does everyone think the Didcot power stations are in that town - just because of the name I suppose? Didcot councillors don't really have much say in it, since it is in Sutton Courtenay and therefore the Vale of White Horse. Frankly building houses there or anywhere else in the Vale will not render them "isolated" anymore than they are, for example, in Appleford, Culham, Milton, Drayton etc. etc. where new builds are coming on a pace. The area as a rural one - which it was until c.15 years ago, is done for anyway. It is no good, especially with the expansion of Didcot, to pretend this area is now anything other than a developing urbanisation. What did anyone who approved such development (i.e. councillors) expect? Strangely enough, people do live alongside power stations and industrial sites through the UK and, given the commuter connections, will do so here. Those of us young enough can all look forward to the area of greater Didcot, which will eventually become combined with Steventon Garden City. To be fair, we need somewhere to house the increase in the population, especially as the "babyboomers" have the cheek to live beyond the prescibed 3 score years and ten. Megs
  • Score: 1

8:42pm Tue 19 Aug 14

EMBOX2 says...

Diddyman wrote:
EMBOX2, where do you get your info from and how do you know it's legit? Cant find anything anywhere which backs up what you're saying?
You won't find anything offical other than RWE saying they have reserved part of the site "for future power generation use" i.e. a new power station. The 90 acre area they're keeping can be found online if you visit RWE's website, under "power generation".

As for the rest of it, I have a mate who is management at RWE, its as legit as can be!

I think Didcot C will be great for the local area, it will bring new jobs and ensure Didcot remains an important location for electricity generation. I won't be one of the NIMBYs who will no doubt try to get it stopped....
[quote][p][bold]Diddyman[/bold] wrote: EMBOX2, where do you get your info from and how do you know it's legit? Cant find anything anywhere which backs up what you're saying?[/p][/quote]You won't find anything offical other than RWE saying they have reserved part of the site "for future power generation use" i.e. a new power station. The 90 acre area they're keeping can be found online if you visit RWE's website, under "power generation". As for the rest of it, I have a mate who is management at RWE, its as legit as can be! I think Didcot C will be great for the local area, it will bring new jobs and ensure Didcot remains an important location for electricity generation. I won't be one of the NIMBYs who will no doubt try to get it stopped.... EMBOX2
  • Score: 0

11:55am Wed 20 Aug 14

andy1975 says...

If there is any truth in it (which I doubt), then I don't think your "mate" would be very impressed with you leaking confidential info on here. I've done a search and there is nothing anywhere about a Didcot C.
If there is any truth in it (which I doubt), then I don't think your "mate" would be very impressed with you leaking confidential info on here. I've done a search and there is nothing anywhere about a Didcot C. andy1975
  • Score: 2

12:47pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Diddyman says...

Exactly andy1975! Nothing whatsoever!
Exactly andy1975! Nothing whatsoever! Diddyman
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Wed 20 Aug 14

EMBOX2 says...

Diddyman wrote:
Exactly andy1975! Nothing whatsoever!
Funny how you won't find anything related to Didcot C since it's not been announced anywhere yet. See quote at the end.

If you think about it, you have everything you need for a new power station in place already (substation, gas pipeline and the skilled people to run it) and with many other power stations having to close down, so it makes perfect sense.

My mate doesn't care; RWE are a bunch of bar stewards (his words) and is happy for me to stick this stuff on here. Didcot C is a done deal interally, so he says, and now they're working on the planning application and the red tape, BEFORE they announce it publicly.

"Up to 114 acres of land at Didcot A is surplus to operational requirements and will be redeveloped for alternative uses. The remaining land at Didcot A (approximately 90 acres) will be retained for potential future power generation development."
[quote][p][bold]Diddyman[/bold] wrote: Exactly andy1975! Nothing whatsoever![/p][/quote]Funny how you won't find anything related to Didcot C since it's not been announced anywhere yet. See quote at the end. If you think about it, you have everything you need for a new power station in place already (substation, gas pipeline and the skilled people to run it) and with many other power stations having to close down, so it makes perfect sense. My mate doesn't care; RWE are a bunch of bar stewards (his words) and is happy for me to stick this stuff on here. Didcot C is a done deal interally, so he says, and now they're working on the planning application and the red tape, BEFORE they announce it publicly. "Up to 114 acres of land at Didcot A is surplus to operational requirements and will be redeveloped for alternative uses. The remaining land at Didcot A (approximately 90 acres) will be retained for potential future power generation development." EMBOX2
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Wed 20 Aug 14

andy1975 says...

Not suggesting that it doesn't make sense to have a power station there, but if they're working on the planning application and the red tape then it isn't a done deal is it?!
Not suggesting that it doesn't make sense to have a power station there, but if they're working on the planning application and the red tape then it isn't a done deal is it?! andy1975
  • Score: 0

10:35am Thu 21 Aug 14

the wizard says...

The laws of nature dictate that you cannot have a nuclear site at Didcot. There is simply not enough water in the Thames to cool it, end of.

It would however make a lot of sense to build a new facility there as suggested above. With all the main site facilities still in place, and its historical planning permission and new low line hardly visible cooling towers it would make a lot of sense. Not only creating jobs but also providing power in what is now a vulnerable place of the grid.

As goes the area where the towers have been removed my personal view would be that this is not a good area for domestic development due to the contributing factors of, lack of suitable access, future possible noise pollution, not only the high pitch whine of gas turbines but from the railway as well. Another trading estate, really ???? does the Didcot/Milton area not have enough already , but has nobody considered a nature country park. The wild has a proven ability to adapt its/their environment and after all the development is it not time Didcot gave something back after taking so much, because you would have to be beyond desperate to want to live there given the standard of modern development elsewhere in the town. Yet another planning night mare where the local planners refuse to stand their ground in search of something which time will honour as a good decision, as opposed to just doing what Whitehall says. Buck the trend and say NO to the first offer and deal that comes along because it sounds good at the time. Look to the future and do something which is just and right.
The laws of nature dictate that you cannot have a nuclear site at Didcot. There is simply not enough water in the Thames to cool it, end of. It would however make a lot of sense to build a new facility there as suggested above. With all the main site facilities still in place, and its historical planning permission and new low line hardly visible cooling towers it would make a lot of sense. Not only creating jobs but also providing power in what is now a vulnerable place of the grid. As goes the area where the towers have been removed my personal view would be that this is not a good area for domestic development due to the contributing factors of, lack of suitable access, future possible noise pollution, not only the high pitch whine of gas turbines but from the railway as well. Another trading estate, really ???? does the Didcot/Milton area not have enough already , but has nobody considered a nature country park. The wild has a proven ability to adapt its/their environment and after all the development is it not time Didcot gave something back after taking so much, because you would have to be beyond desperate to want to live there given the standard of modern development elsewhere in the town. Yet another planning night mare where the local planners refuse to stand their ground in search of something which time will honour as a good decision, as opposed to just doing what Whitehall says. Buck the trend and say NO to the first offer and deal that comes along because it sounds good at the time. Look to the future and do something which is just and right. the wizard
  • Score: 1

5:23pm Thu 21 Aug 14

locodogz says...

andy1975 wrote:
Not suggesting that it doesn't make sense to have a power station there, but if they're working on the planning application and the red tape then it isn't a done deal is it?!
I don't know (or care frankly) whether EMBOX's source is right or wrong but he clearly states "...its a done deal INTERNALLY...."

Are you just looking to stir things up or just incapable of reading?
[quote][p][bold]andy1975[/bold] wrote: Not suggesting that it doesn't make sense to have a power station there, but if they're working on the planning application and the red tape then it isn't a done deal is it?![/p][/quote]I don't know (or care frankly) whether EMBOX's source is right or wrong but he clearly states "...its a done deal INTERNALLY...." Are you just looking to stir things up or just incapable of reading? locodogz
  • Score: 0

10:19am Fri 22 Aug 14

andy1975 says...

Sounds like you're the one trying to stir things up.

No, I'm not. I'm simply saying that when people claim inside info it tends to be wrong. Someone is trying to claim that they know something as fact, when actually it is speculation.
Sounds like you're the one trying to stir things up. No, I'm not. I'm simply saying that when people claim inside info it tends to be wrong. Someone is trying to claim that they know something as fact, when actually it is speculation. andy1975
  • Score: 1

6:24pm Sun 24 Aug 14

tinsel84 says...

On a somewhat pedantic note, surely current Didcot B should become Didcot A and any new station should be Didcot B?! I'll go back to counting the number of stitches in my jeans....
On a somewhat pedantic note, surely current Didcot B should become Didcot A and any new station should be Didcot B?! I'll go back to counting the number of stitches in my jeans.... tinsel84
  • Score: 0

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