The Pontefract Masterplan

Reconnecting Pontefract

What is it?

A Masterplan is a long-term planning document that provides a layout to guide future growth and development. Masterplanning is about making the connection between buildings, social settings, and their surrounding environments. A masterplan includes analysis, proposals and recommendations for the economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, and land use in a defined area. It is based on public input, surveys, planning initiatives, existing development, physical characteristics, and social and economic conditions.

Creation of this plan is an important step in the Council's efforts to realise its Vision for Pontefract.

For more information on the Vision and the Action Plan that supports it, use the following links:

What does this mean to me?

In October 2019, Wakefield Council engaged a specialist consultancy firm to undertake a Masterplanning exercise for Pontefract to help us to plan the future of the town and make sure it realises its potential!

The Masterplan, titled 'Reconnecting Pontefract', will seek to address the historical loss of or deterioration to key linkages between Pontefract Town Centre, the surrounding communities and key local assets such as the Castle and the Racecourse as well as emerging assets like the new Leisure Hub under construction in Pontefract Park.

It does so by focussing on eight "shatterzones" which surround the town centre and act as a barrier between it and those important local places:


In creating a long term plan for these shatterzones, the Council hopes to find a solution to problematic areas of the town, such as the currently vacant dispensary site off Southgate formerly occupied by the old hospital.

Through the Masterplan, the Council is looking to introduce bold, visionary and transformational change to Pontefract in order to safeguard its heritage and unique offer within the Wakefield district while making sure that it can meet the challenges of the 21st century.

How can I get involved?

The views of the people who live, work and visit Pontefract are a crucial part of the Masterplanning process. We want to hear what you think about Pontefract and how we might improve it. It is important that any solutions the Council implements work for those who spend time there.

There will be several opportunities for you to have your say. The first was a two week public consultation event which was held in Pontefract Library from Saturday 8 February until Sunday 23 February 2020.

Our Masterplan consultants, Nash Partnership, hosted a launch event on the 8th from 9:30am until 4pm to introduce the work they are doing for us.

The Consultation is now closed and Nash are working through the information we have gathered.

However, the materials provided as part of the consultation to help you to understand our progress are still available under Downloads to the right of this page.

Supporting activities – Streets for People

One of the 8 shatterzones is the area around Horsefair. This has been identified as a priority intervention area for the Council and £1million of funding was recently secured from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to help kick-start public realm improvements.

This project is called Streets for People and aims to improve Horsefair (the road that links the town centre with the Castle) itself as well as transforming the footways and public areas around it into nicer places to be. The Streets for People concept is based on the 'Healthy Streets' approach pioneered by Transport for London.

For Horsefair, this means reviewing on-street parking, the width of the road, how easy it is to cross and the absence of greenery and seating as well as a range of other environmental factors such as air quality.

Two initial design options for changes on Horsefair will also be available for comment at the Masterplan consultation event in Pontefract Library. Further information on the Streets for People project is available in the 'downloads' section on this page.

Two initial design options for changes on Horsefair were also available for comment at the Masterplan consultation event in Pontefract Library. Further information on the Streets for People project is available under Downloads to the right of this page.

 Horsefair concept 1

Supporting activities – Junction Improvements

The Council recognises that changes to Horsefair will have impacts for the wider highway network. As a result, we are also inviting comment on a separate set of proposals for improvements to the junction of North Baileygate and Southgate for the duration of the Masterplan Consultation event:

Horsefair concept 2 These works also formed part of the Masterplan consultation event and the relevant associated materials are also in the Downloads section to the right of this page.

Further Information

For more information on the Pontefract Masterplan outside of the consultation, or to return a physical copy of the North Baileygate questionnaire please contact the Regeneration team using the following details:

Contact us

Regeneration Team

Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street

01924 306630