Long-awaited work to build 900 homes – along with shops and businesses – on the former Prince of Wales Colliery site in Pontefract has got under way.
Harworth Estates started development on the former pit site this week having gained detailed planning consent from Wakefield Council.
The scheme – given outline planning permission in 2006 – will include 917 new homes on the site of the 77-acre former pit yard along with 230,000 sq ft of business space, shops, cafes, a medical centre, community centre, nursery and parkland.
At the spoil heap - where up to 2m tonnes of coal is currently being extracted - Harworth Estates plans to create a new country park and footpaths.
Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: “This development shows there is confidence in the future of Pontefract and I think it will make a huge difference.
“It’s also important to listen to local people. There will be concerns and we shouldn’t shy away from them.”
The work will also pave the way for a new 1.5km link road between the former pit site and Monkhill, which council bosses are due to approve funding for next week.
Coun Box said: “I fully accept that the long term problem with traffic in Pontefract needs to be addressed but I believe this scheme offers part of the solution.
“The new link road will also play a very important part in the development of Pontefract.”
Chris Davidson, development manager for Harworth Estates, said: “It’s exciting to get the scheme up and running because I think it’s something which will be good for the area.” Work on the first phase of houses is expected to start late next year.