Wakefield Council set to approve Pontefract masterplan

Plans to shape the future of Pontefract are set to be approved by Wakefield Council’s cabinet.

Pontefract town centre

The council’s key decision makers will be presented with the Pontefract Masterplan - entitled ‘Reconnecting Pontefract’ - when they meet on March 16.

The masterplan will seek to address the loss of key links between Pontefract town centre, the surrounding communities and key local assets such as the castle, racecourse and the new leisure hub under construction in Pontefract Park – aiming to make the town a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

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The emphasis is on bold, transformational change to secure a sustainable future for the town and its residents.

The masterplan addresses eight intervention areas that surround the town centre and re-imagines these areas to promote town centre living, green infrastructure and active travel within, between and through them. The aim is to re-connect the town centre with its surrounding assets as well as residential areas, to help the town realise its potential. It will:

Contribute positively to the existing character and identity of Pontefract

Enable active travel and supporting the use of public transport

Provide space for enterprise, cultural and community uses

Enable high quality, sustainable town centre living

Incorporate and safeguard nature

Minimise energy consumption, use renewable sources of energy and integrate drainage with green infrastructure

Coun Darren Byford, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration, said: “The masterplan is key to a successful and sustainable future for Pontefract.

“Pontefract is a unique place within both the Wakefield district and the wider region. The town has a strong identity and much to offer residents but it has long been held back.

“Our regeneration strategy for the town is clear - to build on the excellent foundation the town provides, support and nurture the independent businesses and the historic centre that help make it unique as well as removing barriers preventing the town from realising its potential as one of the district’s principle destinations.

“It will also help to ensure that development is of the quality that local people and the town deserves. The Masterplan is a real opportunity to make sure that the whole district benefits from investment in Pontefract and feel the benefits of the resultant economic growth.”

The masterplan commission, led by Nash Partnership, commenced on October 1, 2019. Extensive public and key stakeholder engagement has formed part of the development of the plan.

Members of Wakefield’s cabinet are meeting virtually on Tuesday, March at 10.30am to discuss the plans. The meeting can be watched live or later on the council’s website.