An ambitious £750m regeneration scheme to transform Castleford has been approved.
More than 4,000 homes will be built alongside shops and leisure facilities in the north-east of the town next to the River Aire.
The plans will see acres of old industrial land brought back into use over the next two decades in an attempt to make the town a more attractive place to live. Thousands of construction jobs will be created.
Presenting to a Wakefield Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday, David Kemp from developers Spawforths, which helped draw up the plans, said the goal was to “change perceptions” about the area.
He said: “The concept we’ve provides is about delivering homes for Castleford. This is about making people realise what a great place Castleford is.
“We envisage that it could be a really bustling centre.”
New links between the area and Castleford town centre will be created, and the transport network improved.
Mr Kemp said: “The problem is that people go to Glass Houghton at the moment because it’s easier. The vehicle and cycling routes are really key to making this a success.”
The overall scheme includes the redevelopment of the old Hickson-Welch chemical works and the closed Nestlé factory, which was given the go-ahead by Wakefield Council’s planning committee last month.
Denise Jeffery, portfolio holder for economic growth and a Castleford ward councillor, said that reducing the town centre’s overall size was key to improving the whole area.
She said: “I think it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while now and we should just crack on with it as quickly as we can.
“We’re looking at getting people living back in the towns.
“We’ve already started talking to landlords in the area to get people living above shops again.
“There’s a lot going on and it’s an exciting project.”