C20 Southern group’s Pauline Mousley reports on their visit to Fawley Power Station.
On 16th October in the strange spooky atmosphere caused by the ‘Sahara Dust’, a group of 20 of us visited Fawley Power Station. This is situated on the edge of the Solent close to the New Forest with the tall chimney a local landmark especially to sailors. It has now been decommissioned and the fate of the buildings is very much in the hands of the owners Fawley Waterside Ltd, who propose a mixed use development.
We started our visit in the Administration Building that houses the old Control Room. We were immediately struck by the unique design, the wonderful location and quality of build. Following a short presentation on the history of the building, we viewed the Control Room floor with it’s original huge display panels – replaced with computer screens many years ago but still looking very impressive! The view from the windows across the Solent was also quite inspiring despite the weather. We were then shown the Turbine Hall which is currently having all its equipment stripped out, and is evidently 4 times the size of the Tate Modern! We then moved on to the old canteen area, followed by a short walk around the dock and water intake tanks.
During the afternoon we also had a presentation of the proposed development which has recently been subject of a pre-planning application public consultation. Disappointingly this currently retains none of the buildings. http://fawleywaterside.co.uk/
With the planning application likely to come forward in 2018, the local Group will be keeping a close eye on developments having already expressed our hope to the company that some buildings be retained. However, with listing refused several years ago, this is currently unlikely.
Very many thanks to Fawley Waterside for hosting such an excellent visit.
For more information on the power station please check out https://c20society.org.uk/botm/fawley-power-station/