Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 10:35 UK

Demolition date set for M1 towers

Tinsley Towers
The towers were built 70 years ago

Sheffield's famous Tinsley cooling towers will be demolished over the August Bank Holiday weekend, energy giant E.On has announced.

Thousands of people had signed petitions to save the towers, which can be seen by motorists who use the M1.

But E.ON, the company that owns the towers, has said they need to be demolished as they are unsafe.

The motorway will be closed while the 250ft (76m) towers are brought down in the early hours of Sunday 24 August.

E.On said the timings of the controlled explosion were decided after "extensive consultation" with the Highways Agency and police.

The M1 will be closed between junctions 32 and 35 from midnight on Saturday and for much of the Sunday.

Viewing platform

Derek Parkin, from E.On, said: "Our priority has always been to make sure this demolition is carried out safely and with as little disruption as possible, which is why we've opted for the early hours of the morning."

The Tinsley cooling towers were originally part of Blackburn Meadows Power Station which closed down in the 1970s.

Earlier this year Sheffield City Council gave E.On planning permission to develop a 60m biomass power station on the site, which would produce enough renewable energy to serve the needs of 40,000 homes.

E.On said a viewing platform would be set up so people could watch the towers being demolished.

There will also be a competition to win the chance to start the demolition countdown.

E.On is also funding a souvenir book of the life of the station, and a collection of postcards based on historical images of the site.

Funds raised from the sale of these will be donated to The Rotherham Hospice and neurocare at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

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