The Pontefract Masterplan
What is it?
A Masterplan is a long-term planning document that provides a layout to guide future growth and development over a period of several years.
Masterplanning is about making a place stronger by strengthening the connection between buildings, places where people can gather and the environment. A masterplan includes analysis, proposals and recommendations for the economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, and land use in a defined area. It is based among other things on input from the public, surveys of the existing built landscape, planning initiatives 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, Nash Partnership, 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', seeks 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 will do this by focusing on eight intervention areas which surround the town centre and act as a barrier between it and those important local places. These areas are shown in the image below:
In creating a long term plan for these areas, the Council hopes to find a solution to problematic parts 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.
You can access the final document or individual chapters below:
If you'd like to discuss the Pontefract Masterplan with an officer, you should contact the Regeneration team.
With the Masterplan now finalised, our attention in the coming years will turn to making the vision a reality.
That process will start with the Streets for People project, a public realm improvement scheme to improve Horsefair – the key link between Pontefract town centre and the castle.
After the Council secured funding for the project from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) in 2019, a consultation on initial design ideas was held alongside work on the Masterplan in February 2020. The materials shared in that exhibition are available under 'Downloads' on the right of this page.
Nash utilised the feedback we received to finalise a concept design for the scheme which is shown below and was recently shortlisted for a Planning Award in the 'Health High Street' category:
We want to create a welcoming environment that will help businesses recovering from the pandemic and ensure people feel safe walking along this important route. An improved Horsefair will also support cyclists and buses while helping to tackle the challenges all of our towns face in terms of vehicle noise and air pollution.
The Council is now in the process of completing the detailed design work that is essential to delivery on the ground. More information will be shared when it is available later in the year as we are keen to ensure the public continue to help shape the Pontefract of the future.