Thursday, 8 March 2012

Richborough Power Station Demolition not an event.

The other day I tackled the council about making the best of the power station demolition, the correspondence is below and I reckon they have probably made the right decision on this one.

With the weather forecast it is looking increasingly likely that the demolition will take place this Sunday morning, I will try and get some pictures but have some commitments then.

From:  MichaelChild to: To Do, Calendar To:  sue.mcgonigal

Hi Sue, as you may be aware we have a major event on in Thanet next Sunday, I guess in terms of visual experiences it is pretty much a once in a lifetime event, I would have though the potential for attracting people to the area would be considerable.

I guess I was pretty surprised that the council don’t seem to be taking advantage of this, no press release, no mention on the tourism website, no celeb to press the button, in fact nothing much at all.

I don’t know if you intend to do anything at all, I will be publishing as much as I can find out about it on the blog as I can find out, including that I have asked you if you intend to anything.

Best regards Michael

Dear Mr Child

Further to your letter addressed to the Chief Executive, Dr Sue McGonigal, I am
writing on her behalf to respond to your email received on 07/03/2012.   I can
confirm to you that on the 15th of February, 2012, Thanet District Council
Planning Committee gave permission for the demolition of the 3 Cooling Towers
and Chimney at Richborough Power Station.  This is required due to the law which
changed recently as now major demolitions require planning permission. 

In terms of the role of TDC, the demolition has been discussed in detail at the
Thanet Events Safety Advisory Group (SAG) and in conjunction with the
professional demolition team who have been brought together to undertake the
work.  I am responding to your letter in my capacity as the Chair of that group. 

Following those discussions and on the advice of our partners we have determined
that this is not an event and should not be managed as such.  Aside from the
genuine security needs of managing the explosives for the demolition, there are
clear concerns about a large crowd congregating (mainly) on public highways.   

If TDC were to have planned and arranged for this as an event, our
responsibilities and costs would change dramatically.  To begin with the Council
would be responsible, and liable for, ensuring public safety of the crowd
outside of the demolition exclusion zone.  This would mean that the Council
would have to expect a significant commitment from staff on a non-work day, and
funds expended on barriers etc with no identifiable income streams to off-set
those costs. 

It should also be noted that the demolition team are legally responsible for
putting in the exclusion zone and managing the safety and security of that
exclusion zone.  They have asked Kent Police to support them in that and traffic
management will be provided by the AA, with Kent Highways Services assisting if

As this remains a demolition situation, TDC would only become involved should
the emergency plan have to be implemented and for that reason the officer with
responsibility for the emergency plan will be at the Control Point on the day. 

The demolition team and members of the Safety Advisory Group have worked hard to
ensure that the day goes smoothly, including liaising with the Emergency
Services around issues such as the management of the road closures and diversion
and we hope that the disruption the demolition causes is minimal to those who
live and work in the area affected.

If you have any further enquiries about the demolition then please refer it
directly to Christopher Parr at Cascade Communications who is handling enquiries
on behalf of the demolition team.  His contact details are 

Should you need to contact me, please ensure that you quote the above reference
number in all communications relating to this matter.

Yours sincerely

Community Development Manager

I may also get around to saying something more about the sale of Manston Airport confirmed on Infratil’s website today, I did post about this last month and earlier this month, so was only really waiting for the official confirmation.


  1. A sensible decision. Turning it into an event would have cost we council tax payers a fortune, paying for insurance, policing, etc.
    It will be sad to see them go but that whole area is an eyesore and anything to improve things is to be welcomed.
    Whilst thinking about the Ebbsfleet area, are your readers aware that KCC are proposing to close the household waste site at Richborough? That means that everyone in Thanet will have to go to Margate, or more likely leave it at the roadside! Short-sighted or what?

  2. Best place to see it will probably be Laundry Road at the top of Minster Hill.

  3. Thanet District Council - founding member of the flat earth society.

  4. Tim I suppose much of this depends on the Margate site, at the moment I don’t see how it could cope, both in terms of road infrastructure and tip capacity.

    I took some rubbish there today in order to form a reasonable impression and will do a post eventually.

    Peter I hope one of the local bloggers manages to get some pictures, my Sunday morning is looking fairly committed.

    8.24 I don’t think that it would be possible to get them to see this a major income generating event, that it would of course be in some other places.

  5. Any idea at what time on Sunday this non-event will take place?.


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