MP Vaizey weighs into row on cooling tower demolition

Christine Reardon with her petition about the demolition of the Didcot cooling towers. Picture: OX68423 Mark Hemsworth

Christine Reardon with her petition about the demolition of the Didcot cooling towers. Picture: OX68423 Mark Hemsworth Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

A COUNTDOWN should be projected on to cooling towers at Didcot power station before they are demolished, according to the town’s MP Ed Vaizey.

He spoke out as residents demanded that RWE npower switch the time of the demolition so that more people can see it.

RWE npower, which runs Didcot A power station, says demolition firm Coleman and Company will use floodlights to illuminate the three cooling towers that are coming down during the early hours of Sunday, July 27.

But it is refusing to budge on moving the time of the demolition so that more people can see the three 325ft towers come down.

Power station bosses have said the demolition will take place between 3am and 5am.

Residents have launched an online petition to move the time of the demolition to 6am, and this has been backed by Mr Vaizey.

Mum-of-two Christine Reardon, 44, of Meadow Way, Didcot, launched the petition, which now has more than 2,200 signatures.

She said: “Support for my petition is growing and I am planning to hand it in next week. At the very least npower should announce a precise time for the demolition.”

Town councillor Margaret Davies said: “There’s still time for the managers at npower to change their minds and give a more specific time.

“If they gave a specific time then I think thousands of people could turn out to watch, but otherwise the 3am to 5am timeframe could be a deterrent.”

Mr Vaizey said: “I have been contacted by many constituents who are determined to be part of this unique event, even if that does mean getting up at 3am. But I believe that it will be much better, and much safer, if they can do so in an organised way a little later, perhaps around 6am.

“I hope we can have viewing points set up where families can gather in an organised way, with a countdown projected on the towers so no-one misses it.”

RWE npower spokeswoman Kelly Brown said staff at Didcot power station would meet Mrs Reardon to accept the petition.

But she added that there has been no change to the proposed time of demolition.

She said: “Now that we have told people the timeframe they can plan the way they want to join in. There are plenty of viewing points around the town.”

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Comments (5)

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10:29am Sat 5 Jul 14

HPG says...

Been told Didcot police are running the rule over timings, but rather than being able see from all over southern county from a distance, your now gonna have hundreds if not thousands of cars turning up, parking all over grass verges and blocking roads and people accessing farm lands and private property to watch....either causing them even more of a headache or a very calculating set of fines to collect for good days work.
Its a sunday, and trains have been cancelled before, so for this im sure there wouldnt be a problem!
The main link road could be blocked for 1 miniute each end, no problem there!
If they not gonna give a little, then can all of Didcot send a car cleaning, window cleaning bill to the demolition company, like you would to any other smaller industrial companys fall out of mess
Been told Didcot police are running the rule over timings, but rather than being able see from all over southern county from a distance, your now gonna have hundreds if not thousands of cars turning up, parking all over grass verges and blocking roads and people accessing farm lands and private property to watch....either causing them even more of a headache or a very calculating set of fines to collect for good days work. Its a sunday, and trains have been cancelled before, so for this im sure there wouldnt be a problem! The main link road could be blocked for 1 miniute each end, no problem there! If they not gonna give a little, then can all of Didcot send a car cleaning, window cleaning bill to the demolition company, like you would to any other smaller industrial companys fall out of mess HPG
  • Score: 5

2:41pm Sat 5 Jul 14

Megs says...

Good Grief. What a shambles, on all sides. Lots of unanswered questions, such as
1. If there are problems and the demolishers can not meet the 3-5 am slot, what happens then. Come back another day?
2. Is it possible to give a precise time, surely weather will be a factor?
3. Who will set up and safeguard Ed Vaizey's suggested viewpoints - and who will pay - surely not council taxpayers?
4. What contingency plans have ben set up by the police for dealing with potential crowds? Where are the car parks? How will they be advertised? What security will be offered nearby residents? Who will pay for extra policing?
4. Who do I send my window/car cleaning bill to, since the company decided on explosive, rather than hand demolition?
Given the possibility of large numbers seeking parking, to view both the countdown and the act itself and unconvinced that adequate crowd/parking management has been organised, I am contacting a car wheel clamping company so that I can at hopefully get some funds to restore land that might be damaged by unauthorised parking.
Good Grief. What a shambles, on all sides. Lots of unanswered questions, such as 1. If there are problems and the demolishers can not meet the 3-5 am slot, what happens then. Come back another day? 2. Is it possible to give a precise time, surely weather will be a factor? 3. Who will set up and safeguard Ed Vaizey's suggested viewpoints - and who will pay - surely not council taxpayers? 4. What contingency plans have ben set up by the police for dealing with potential crowds? Where are the car parks? How will they be advertised? What security will be offered nearby residents? Who will pay for extra policing? 4. Who do I send my window/car cleaning bill to, since the company decided on explosive, rather than hand demolition? Given the possibility of large numbers seeking parking, to view both the countdown and the act itself and unconvinced that adequate crowd/parking management has been organised, I am contacting a car wheel clamping company so that I can at hopefully get some funds to restore land that might be damaged by unauthorised parking. Megs
  • Score: 4

7:39pm Sat 5 Jul 14

HPG says...

Like I said Megs, And if we are not allowed to watch at sensible time, can we petition for them not to be blown up and cause dust across the town and force them into a more costly dismantle slowly by hand...just to be awkward
Like I said Megs, And if we are not allowed to watch at sensible time, can we petition for them not to be blown up and cause dust across the town and force them into a more costly dismantle slowly by hand...just to be awkward HPG
  • Score: 3

10:24am Sun 6 Jul 14

Wolf Pack says...

Just blow the bloody things down & get it over with.
Just blow the bloody things down & get it over with. Wolf Pack
  • Score: 2

8:19pm Wed 16 Jul 14

PeterCholmondley says...

As a responsible citizen who wishes to watch this exciting spectacle with his teenage boys, is there any information regarding viewing sites and parking etc?
As a responsible citizen who wishes to watch this exciting spectacle with his teenage boys, is there any information regarding viewing sites and parking etc? PeterCholmondley
  • Score: 0

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