MANY local people will remember the day the mighty cooling towers of the old Meaford B Power Station were demolished in the early 1990s.
Families took picnics and watched from hillsides as the five huge towers crumpled, one by one. Even local television crews turned up to record the event.
Meaford B was one of the last of the traditional, coal-burning power stations that lined the Trent Valley in the post-war years.
But today there are plans to build a new, modern and efficient gas-fired power station at Meaford – and the local community is being invited to get involved and give its thoughts.
Over the next few weeks, local people are being encouraged to meet the team from Meaford Energy Ltd, the company behind the proposals, and put their questions to them over the £300 million project.
The new power station will be able to supply continuous energy to around 400,000 homes - in other words, a city the size of Nottingham.
Meaford Energy Ltd, is a joint venture between Glenfinnan, a property investment company, and the owners of the Meaford Business Park, St Modwen.
St Modwen is one of the country’s leading regeneration specialists, and is co-owner of the highly successful Trentham Estate nearby.
As Meaford Energy Limited, the companies combine Glenfinnan’s extensive knowledge of the UK energy market and St Modwen’s regeneration expertise.
This statutory consultation, which under the Planning Act 2008 is required for all projects of this nature, will run from June 6 to July 7.
The proposed power station will use gas and steam to produce electricity. It also promises to create 30 highly skilled, permanent jobs at the power station, and up to 800 construction jobs over three years during construction.
It will also, say the developers, provide the catalyst to further develop Meaford Business Park, creating more jobs in the area. The company also claims the development will reduce the area’s reliance on imported electricity and improve its energy security.
The current round of consultation follows an earlier pre-consultation period in which Meaford Energy Limited sought the community’s feedback on the concept of a power station at Meaford Business Park.
Residents submitted initial feedback in autumn 2013 when three exhibition events were held in Meaford, Stone and Barlaston. Views have been taken on board and incorporated into the detailed plans where possible, says the company.
This first, non-statutory stage of consultation, was held between September 24 and November 1, 2013. It was aimed at introducing the community to the proposals, raise awareness of the plans and to obtain initial feedback.
The second stage, which begins tomorrow, will include detailed designs of the Meaford Energy Centre in response to community feedback and environmental assessments conducted by the project team to date.
Rupert Wood, director of Meaford Energy Ltd, said: “More than 100 people from across the local community submitted their feedback during that time and we considered all of their comments within these detailed plans.
“The Meaford Energy Centre is an exciting opportunity to unlock the regeneration of the Meaford Business Park by making it an attractive location for hi-tech, manufacturing and logistics firms.”