Estate plan develops

Wakefield town hall, dept leader Denise Jeffery .
Wakefield town hall, dept leader Denise Jeffery .
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PLANS to regenerate two estates with a multi-million pound government grant are gaining pace.

As reported by the Express in April last year, City Estate in Fitzwilliam, Hemsworth’s West End, South Elmsall’s Westfield Lane and a site in Featherstone are set to be regenerated with a £8.1m Regional Growth Fund grand awarded to Wakefield Council.

Developers who expressed an interest in City Estate and West End were issued with site briefs on January 20 and proposals are due back next month.

The council will then decide which developer is most suitable, and it hopes to make an appointment in May.

Work could start as soon as summer next year, but improvements to roads and the environment around the development sites could come even sooner.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic growth, said: “People have been waiting a long time for housing in these areas and I am really pleased to see that things are moving forward.

“We have set some high standards for the new homes in terms of their energy efficiency, their adaptability to the future needs of residents and their safety. It is our aim that up to 30 per cent of the new homes will be affordable homes for rent or shared ownership to help improve the range of housing options in the areas.”

The council said it was not possible to say how many homes would be built on the two sites, but that it hoped 650 new homes would be built across all four sites over the next six to seven years. The project could create around 100 jobs and more than 60 apprenticeships.

During the 1990s the West End Estate, City Estate and the Westfield Lane area all fell into rapid decline, leading to abandoned houses, crime and anti-social behaviour.

The City estate was once branded the worst estate in Britain.