Masterplan to regenerate Castleford
Ambitious plans to transform Castleford with a potential investment of almost three quarters of a billion pounds, to create thousands of new homes, jobs and green transport links over the next 15-20 years are taking a major step forward.
The Council is aiming to see the transformation of 230 hectares of former industrial brownfield land in the North East of Castleford, in the area known as the Aire River Growth Corridor, with up to 4,500 homes, including up to 1,400 on the former Hickson and Welch and Nestle sites.
The plans - set out in the new Castleford Masterplan - show how former industrial sites would be transformed, the town centre revitalised and green, open spaces, free of vehicles created to provide better links between neighbourhoods and more opportunities for walking and cycling in the area.
Residents are now being asked to take part in a consultation on the Masterplan and to share their views.
Once the Masterplan has been consulted on and approved, it will provide evidence for current and future funding bids and make private investors and developers more aware of the potential of the area. The scale of the investment is a long term plan, which is reliant on the support of the private sector.
Public funding of up to £42.5m could provide the catalyst for development that will transform the area, previously known as an industrial part of Castleford.
The Council has submitted a bid for £17.5m of funding as part of the Homes England Housing Infrastructure Funding to help speed up house-building.
A funding bid is to be submitted to West Yorkshire Combined Authority for the £25m Castleford Growth Corridor road improvement scheme to tackle congestion in the area and be a key part of development.
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration at Wakefield Council, said: "The Castleford Masterplan supports our big ambitions to regeneration the town and to plan for the future.
"This will provide homes for families in the district, help to boost our local economy and creating various jobs for people in the area.
"It is a very exciting time for the town and we want as many people as possible to have their say by taking part in the consultation."
The Aire River Corridor was given Housing Zone Status by the Government's Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government back in 2015. It was one of only 20 housing sites designated outside of London. This status means that funding can be made available and support given to local authorities and developers to accelerate the provision of new housing in the area that has the potential to provide up to 4500 new homes over the next 15 to 20 years.
The plan aims to deliver the following economic benefits:
· Total private inward investment of about £750m in the long term
· Industrial employment of 650 full time equivalent jobs
· Construction jobs relating to housing developments 6750 full time equivalent posts over the 10 -15 years construction period
· New Homes Bonus (NHB) based on 4500 homes - £26.6m for the district. This is dependent on a future governments retaining the NHB payment.
Increased Council tax based on 4,500 new homes at band B £5.18m per year for the benefit of the whole of the Wakefield district
The public consultation takes place on February 16 and 17 February at Carlton Lane Shopping Centre from 10am – 2pm, and at Airedale Library on February 21 from 3pm-7pm
The exhibition will also be available to view in Castleford Library from February 18 to the March 3.
People can see the consultation at www.wakefield.gov.uk/ARGCmasterplan
Information about the plan:
· The Aire River Growth Corridor covers 12 potential housing sites and is one of twenty areas outside London to be chosen to speed up delivery of new homes on brownfield sites.
· Subject to planning approval, 1,400 homes could be created on the former Hickson and Welch site in Castleford, which is close to the town centre and to the waterside area.
· The Housing Zone has supported regeneration initiatives taking place in the town at Navigation Point, the town centre and in Fryston and Airedale.