Civic leaders have given the green light to a key phase of planning work on a major new road route in Leeds.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) handed development approval status to the East Leeds Orbital Road scheme at a meeting on Friday.
It means the preparation of what is described as a “high-level business case” for the £100m project can now take place.
The 4.6-mile road would be a 50mph dual carriageway designed to keep east Leeds on the move if plans to build thousands of homes in the area come to fruition.
It would run from the A6120 at Redhall through the eastern outskirts of the city down as far as Thorpe Park, close to junction 46 of the M1.
Existing routes earmarked for links to the new road include the A58 Wetherby Road and A64 York Road as well as Skeltons Lane, Barwick Road and Manston Lane.
Should the scheme get the go-ahead, its delivery would be managed by Leeds City Council.
A report prepared for a recent council planning meeting says it is hoped that the road will be open by 2021.
Funding for the project – which has been talked about off and on for more than 20 years – would be provided by a mix of public sector cash and developer contributions.
Privately-led housing schemes in the pipeline for east Leeds include the Northern Quadrant, a 2,000-home development to the north and east of Whinmoor.
Friday’s meeting was also given an update on the progress of other schemes in the 12 months since the formation of the WYCA brought together Leeds, Wakefield, Kirklees, Bradford, Calderdale and York councils plus what was Metro, West Yorkshire’s passenger transport authority.
Projects discussed included Wakefield’s eastern relief road and the Pontefract northern link road.
WYCA chair Coun Peter Box said: “We know that locally managed schemes have and are still outstripping national initiatives, which shows why it is so important we work towards a full, no-strings-attached, devolution deal that will make it possible for us to meet our commitment to create over 60,000 new jobs, provide training for 50,000 people, build 200,000 new affordable homes and deliver an efficient transport network.”