Five Towns Park
Working on behalf of national retail and leisure developer, Lateral Property Group, HOW Planning has secured planning approval for a £135m mixed use Green Belt scheme in Castleford, West Yorkshire. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government the Rt Hon Greg Clark confirmed on Friday 3 July 2015 that the application would not be ‘Called in’ for his consideration; one of the first big planning decisions from the new Government.
Whilst the site is in the Green Belt, the considerable economic benefits combined with the significant local support clearly enabled Ministers to decide that the scheme should proceed, demonstrating their commitment to the localism agenda and decentralisation as part of the Northern powerhouse.
The application for the proposed Five Towns Park development has been approved by Wakefield Metropolitan District Council and paves the way for a scheme which has the potential to create around 2,000 new jobs.
Plans comprise a fully cross-funded 10,000 capacity Community Stadium for Castleford Tigers RLFC; a 50 acre country park and c.53,000 sq m of retail development on land adjacent to Junction 32 of the M62.
The retail development will be anchored by a flagship Next Fashion Home and Garden store and also substantial upgrades to the motorway junction.
The new development is located in an area where unemployment remains high following extensive mine closures and there is a real imperative for new employment opportunities and diversification of the local economy.
HOW consulted widely with the community and local stakeholders and the plans demonstrated the positive impact the scheme will have on the area and how the five towns will benefit from the new investment and regeneration, creating a fantastic new gateway to Castleford. The proposals received overwhelming backing from the community with approaching 7000 letters of support.
The proposals were considered alongside three other competing retail planning applications at a special planning committee in February 2012 and received a resolution to grant planning permission from Wakefield Council.