Transforming a former coal-fired power station into a sustainable and innovative mixed-use neighbourhood
Located on the edge of Rugeley Town Centre in Staffordshire, Rugeley Power Station is a 139-hectare site which consisted of a series of disused coal-fired power stations, gas turbine generator, cooling towers and chimneys. Despite its visual dominance over the town, it was also the economic and social life blood of the town providing jobs and social facilities, including a sports and social club, with clubs for fishing, football and boat and railway modelling. The decommissioning and demolition of the stations have had a severe impact on the prosperity of the town. Through the regeneration of the site, it was imperative to bring benefits to Rugeley by creating a new neighbourhood that brings vital economic, environmental and social infrastructure as well as new homes.
Key to ensuring the vision and proposals for the town met the needs of the community was a process of extensive community engagement, which was made more complex because the site straddles both Cannock Chase District Council and Lichfield District Council. Working in close collaboration with the community and key stakeholders, we developed a proposal which creates a new 25-hectare public Riverside Park, accommodating opportunities for walking, cycling and informal play. It also delivers enhanced areas of biodiversity and wildflower meadows whilst providing access to part of the River Trent that has been inaccessible for decades.
Our ambition is to create a new landmark in placemaking and sustainable living. We hope that our plans will help to stimulate the local economy and be an enabler of investment into future growth for the area.
Wilfrid Petrie, ENGIE CEO UK & Ireland
Running through the length of the development, the ‘Railway’, which follows part of the former railway spur, acts as a green spine and a sustainable movement corridor, providing a 2.8km long safe, multi-modal route to the town centre. It will interconnect with all the open green spaces helping promote active lifestyles. The development proposes two areas of community focus. The first is a community hub, situated to the west and closest to the town, has the potential to include a primary school, convenience store, healthcare facility and retail opportunities, all centred around a town square, providing an excellent platform for the old and new communities to come together.
The second community hub embraces the existing Borrow Pit Lake and its proximity to the Trent and Mersey Canal. Walking routes around the lake and opportunities for water-based leisure activities, such as fishing and boating, make this an attractive destination for residents and visitors. Facilities for sport and recreation will be focussed around the centrally located public open space, which will provide formal sports pitches for football, rugby, cricket and bowls. Flanking either side of the retained 400kv substation are solar meadows which will be a productive landscape in both energy and natural resource. This open area of habitat creation will provide a diverse environment, attracting insects and other invertebrates.
– Outline planning application and design codes
– Up to 2,300 new dwellings
– Up to 1.2 ha of mixed-use leisure, retail and community spaces
– Up to 5 ha of employment
– A new primary school
– Healthcare facilities
– Formal and informal publicly accessible open space
– Key infrastructure including new adoptable roads within the site and the provision of a new primary access junction onto the A513.