Rugeley Power Station
Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK
A former power station site next to the River Trent in Staffordshire is being redeveloped to create a sustainable ‘garden village’ community featuring an all-through school at the heart of a mix of housing. We developed the overarching sustainability strategy for the project to secure planning approval. This was underpinned by a utilities and flood risk strategy which developed the planning scheme and supported procurement of third party providers.
This huge redevelopment on more than 100 hectares of brownfield site will provide 2300 homes through the creation of a new neighbourhood on the site of an old power station. The scheme is of high strategic importance to Rugeley and the local area, which has suffered a decline in employment, and is seen as a key opportunity to use healthy place-making principles to establish a new community.
Site owner Engie commissioned Expedition to further develop the sustainability strategy and supporting technical studies to ensure aspirations can be delivered in practice, across the multiple phases of development that will be necessary. With the scheme expected to take some years to complete, the strategy also needs to be sufficiently adaptable to respond to emerging technologies and changes in policy.
After planning consent was granted, we took a more detailed look at how the drainage and landscaping strategies were integrated, seeking to bring stormwater storage above ground, and eliminate the financial and carbon cost of building underground tanks. We input drainage levels to the earthworks strategy with a view to integrating them as closely as possible and minimising material removal.
As well as reducing the cost and carbon impact of underground storage, we used the opportunity to propose a series of water features such as ponds and terraces within the landscape, which will enhance the amenity of the neighbourhood and improve its biodiversity. Working with the local wildlife trust we developed the design to deliver improvements to the existing wetland features and create a resilient and ecologically rich habitat.
Water storage capacity that currently exists in infrastructure built to serve the power station will be lost with construction of the all-through school, reducing retention for flood water and impacting the resilience of the site. We worked with the lead consultant and the Environment Agency to demonstrate how extra capacity can be added to the new riverside park that will be created on the scheme, providing the necessary water storage as well as adding ecological value in the form of natural top-up for the aquatic environment.
The development is part of a wider Energy Innovation Zone which runs across the Town of Rugeley. Our work included the development of an energy strategy including a dynamic microgrid which act as a pilot for the first phase.
Image courtesy of JTP