Didcot A power station site developers told ‘no homes’

The Oxford Times: Cllr Des Healy Cllr Des Healy

THE developer that has bought a large area of the former Didcot A power station has been warned it should not build houses on the site.

Vale of White Horse District Council leader Matthew Barber said Clowes Developments (UK) Ltd should concentrate on using the 116-acre area for businesses after it was announced the firm had struck a deal with owner RWE npower.

Clowes had suggested part of the land, which is in the Vale, could be used for housing.

Mr Barber said: “It’s possible that housing could be built there but most people would look at this objectively and say you can’t just turn the land into a housing estate.

“It’s a brownfield site but you couldn’t start building there tomorrow – a lot of decontamination work would have to be done first.

“We have to make sure that there are enough jobs to go with the new homes that are being built in the area, including those at Great Western Park and Valley Park.

“Most of the land that has been sold has to be for commercial use and there is a great opportunity there for companies.”

The power station closed in March last year as a result of EU regulations to cut carbon emissions.

Clowes has signed a deal with RWE npower to buy the land behind the three southern cooling towers, previously occupied by the power station’s coal storage site.

According to developers, the land has the potential to be redeveloped “for a mixture of uses” including commercial and residential, and work on clearing the site has begun.

Clowes’ chairman Charles Clowes said: “I am delighted that we have been able to agree this land deal, which will see the derelict site being transformed.”

Didcot town councillor Des Healy, a union convenor at the power station from 1974 until 1999 when he retired, said: “I think the site would be totally unsuitable for any form of housing.

“It should be used for commercial and industrial use and generate more jobs for the area.’’ The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

Developer’s project portfolio

CLOWES Developments (UK) Ltd was founded in 1964 by chairman Charles Clowes.
It has freehold ownership of 41 properties in England – a mixture of industrial, commercial, office, retail and residential property.
Of these, 23 are completed and let while the remainder are in various stages of development.
The company has offices in London and Derbyshire. Spokesman Neil Harvey said the firm has recently developed a site near Alfreton, Derbyshire, close to junction 28 of the M1, for commercial and retail use.

Comments (5)

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7:25am Thu 10 Apr 14

Chris Henderson says...

Matthew Barber can't have it both ways. First he tells us that we have to build all over the green belt because so many new jobs are coming to the Vale.
Now he tells us that we can't build houses on a brownfield site because unless it is used for commercial premises there won't be enough jobs.
Matthew Barber can't have it both ways. First he tells us that we have to build all over the green belt because so many new jobs are coming to the Vale. Now he tells us that we can't build houses on a brownfield site because unless it is used for commercial premises there won't be enough jobs. Chris Henderson
  • Score: 13

9:58am Thu 10 Apr 14

TobyB1960 says...

Roll on the next election and let’s get rid of these muppets! The problem here is the homes are too close to jobs. Under Vale’s unwritten rules, new homes should be built 10 miles away from the nearest jobs.

Contaminated land can be cleaned just look at Greenwich Millennium Village which will have 1800 new homes on contaminated land and where 3 bedroom homes start at £600k.
Roll on the next election and let’s get rid of these muppets! The problem here is the homes are too close to jobs. Under Vale’s unwritten rules, new homes should be built 10 miles away from the nearest jobs. Contaminated land can be cleaned just look at Greenwich Millennium Village which will have 1800 new homes on contaminated land and where 3 bedroom homes start at £600k. TobyB1960
  • Score: 9

11:07am Thu 10 Apr 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

TobyB1960 wrote:
Roll on the next election and let’s get rid of these muppets! The problem here is the homes are too close to jobs. Under Vale’s unwritten rules, new homes should be built 10 miles away from the nearest jobs.

Contaminated land can be cleaned just look at Greenwich Millennium Village which will have 1800 new homes on contaminated land and where 3 bedroom homes start at £600k.
Exactly. It can be cleaned up.

With the growth in population of older people, perhaps the best thing for this site would be a gated village of one and two bedroom homes for over 70s. Along with a nursing home.
[quote][p][bold]TobyB1960[/bold] wrote: Roll on the next election and let’s get rid of these muppets! The problem here is the homes are too close to jobs. Under Vale’s unwritten rules, new homes should be built 10 miles away from the nearest jobs. Contaminated land can be cleaned just look at Greenwich Millennium Village which will have 1800 new homes on contaminated land and where 3 bedroom homes start at £600k.[/p][/quote]Exactly. It can be cleaned up. With the growth in population of older people, perhaps the best thing for this site would be a gated village of one and two bedroom homes for over 70s. Along with a nursing home. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -5

11:27am Thu 10 Apr 14

EMBOX2 says...

Britain is very strange in that we segregate industrial and residental areas. Most other countries do not - in Germany people live near all sorts of commercial/industria
l premises - so long as there is little/no danger of pollution.

My opinion is that the whole Didcot A site should be turned into housing - there is a railway going into the site, run a tram to Didcot Parkway & Oxford, etc. It could be a new eco town, or similar. Better than than tarmacing over most of the county!
Britain is very strange in that we segregate industrial and residental areas. Most other countries do not - in Germany people live near all sorts of commercial/industria l premises - so long as there is little/no danger of pollution. My opinion is that the whole Didcot A site should be turned into housing - there is a railway going into the site, run a tram to Didcot Parkway & Oxford, etc. It could be a new eco town, or similar. Better than than tarmacing over most of the county! EMBOX2
  • Score: 11

5:34pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Richard of Wantage says...

A 116 acre site would be enough for at least 5,000 new homes, therefore no need to build on Oxford green belt or the AONB. Common sense is not usually associated with our District Council.
A 116 acre site would be enough for at least 5,000 new homes, therefore no need to build on Oxford green belt or the AONB. Common sense is not usually associated with our District Council. Richard of Wantage
  • Score: 7

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