Incomplete demolition of Watford Gasholder Station poses safety hazard to residents

Gas Station above-ground redundant pipework should have been removed.

Incomplete demolition of Watford Gasholder Station poses safety hazard to residents

Men wearing protective gear have been seen demolishing two cabin structures on a former gas storage facility next to a Lidl supermarket in Watford and close to the new Watford Arches apartment block.

The workmen are believed to be contractors with Cadent were captured on aerial video.

Video (credit Watford Drone Media)

The demolition of the cabin structures is part of a redevelopment plan for the site.

Gas Station redundant pipework crosses the river Colne.
Gas Station redundant pipework crosses the river Colne.

The site, which is located on Lower High Street, was previously home to a large gas holder.

Watford Gasholder Station entrance at Unnamed road near Frogmore Avenue.
Gas Station above-ground redundant pipework still standing. (image Watnews)

National Grid appointed Brown and Mason in 2013 to carry out the dismantling and removal of 3 gasholders to the northwest of London.

The Holders 57 & 58 at the old Wharf Lane gasworks in Rickmansworth were demolished in 2013, but the sites have remained vacant since then.

Brown and Mason reported that “Residual de-watering of gasholder #64 followed by desludging.  Then complete dismantling and removal from site of both gasholders including:

  • The above ground tank structure,
  • all associated above ground redundant pipework,
  • below ground pipework associated with siphon pits,
  • anti-flood seals, valves,
  • steelwork and small plant items. 
  • Work also included the demolition of the former switch room.” (source)

Although the video appears t o show that pipework in Watford still remains active.

The incomplete dismantling of the Watford Gasholder Station is a concern to some residents, who are concerned about the potential for safety and environmental hazards.

However, the proximity of the site to the Lidl supermarket and other residential buildings has raised concerns about the safety of the site.

Watford Arches regenerates former British Gas sites. Galldris carried out the remediation and subsequent construction of a 92 unit 6 storey residential block in Frogmore Ave.

Hertfordshire County Council and Watford Borough Council have been contacted for comment on the redevelopment, but have not yet responded.

Watford Gasholder Station History

The site was Watford Gas and Coke Company was formed by Deed of Partnership in 1834 and operated until it closed in the 1970s. The works were located in the High St. adjoining the River Colne.

The Colne Valley Water Company Plc Water Works, Watford High Street and environs, Bushey, 1936 (Image: Watford Museum)

The company refused to extend its supply into Bushey and preparations were made to form the New Bushey and Watford GC. This forced the company to obtain an AoP in 1871 which extended its area to include Bushey.

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