Thursday, 19 January 2012

Demolition of Richborough Towers gets go ahead

A major landmark on the east Kent coastline is set to disappear, after
Thanet District Council’s Planning Committee gave the go-ahead to
demolish the cooling towers at Richborough. 

The proposals that were considered by the committee last night
(Wednesday 18 January) are to demolish the three cooling towers and
chimney at the redundant Richborough power station, which closed in

The application is accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment,
which looks at the impact of the demolition on the environment. It
considers issues such as ecology, air quality and dust, noise and
vibration and how the waste from the demolition will be removed from the

The 97 metre high cooling towers are within Thanet’s boundary, while
the site entrance is in Dover’s boundary. As a result, the planning
application was submitted to both authorities, with Dover focusing on
issues to do with the access. 

The committee approved the demolition work with a number of conditions.
These include having to carry out an assessment of the wildlife on site
and restrictions on when the demolition can take place.   After hearing
from a representative of UK Power Network, who are responsible for
providing electricity to Thanet residents, members also added two extra
conditions which sought to reduce the risk to Thanet’s electricity

Cllr. Jack Cohen, Chairman of the Planning Committee, said: “The
Richborough cooling towers and chimney are perhaps some of the best
known landmarks on the skyline of this part of Kent. We know from the
comments that the council received that people do care about them and
some of the objections talked about preserving them, describing them as
“iconic”. We understand those feelings and that is an emotive
subject for some, but we have to listen to experts on this subject.
English Heritage made no objection to this application and the power
station isn’t a designated heritage site. Our own officer looked at
this issue in his report to the committee and made the point that the
towers and chimney were a fairly recent addition to the area’s

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