The development of the 77-acre site covers both the former pit yard and the former spoil heap. At the pit yard Harworth has been given consent for 917 homes and 230,000 sq ft of employment space, along with shops, cafes, a medical centre, a community centre, a nursery and parkland.
At the spoil heap up to 2 million tonnes of coal is being extracted from the slurry lagoon, after which Harworth will create a new country park, access ways and footpaths.
Remediation work on both sites has started. It involves extracting more than 3.5 million tonnes from the spoil heap and lagoons.
Dried coal is then transported to nearby coal-fired power stations. Once the coal has been extracted, inert soil material will be imported to remodel and prepare the site for development.
Harworth is also collaborating for the fourth time with Alkane Energy, one of the UK’s fastest growing independent power generators.
Alkane operates mid-sized gas to power electricity plants. The site at Prince of Wales, its 23rd operational site, is a 1.5MW facility, which provides localised power generation for the area electricity network using methane from the former mine workings.
The Prince of Wales project forms an important part of Wakefield Council’s wider regeneration plans for Pontefract.
The site provides the road corridor for the proposed Northern Link Road, which will provide a gateway into Pontefract from the M62 and open up further space for residential and commercial development, a critical piece of infrastructure to ensure the future sustained growth of the area.
Owen Michaelson, chief executive at Harworth Estates, said:
“We have extensive experience in delivering complex sustainable regeneration projects such as this and look forward to continuing our close working relationship with Wakefield Council to deliver a scheme which will be transformational for Pontefract.
“Providing almost 1000 homes and enabling further development of the Northern Link Road, the scheme will help stimulate further residential and commercial development, ensuring future economic growth in the area.”
Cllr Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council said:
“The start of work on the former Prince of Wales colliery site represents a significant step forward for the regeneration of Pontefract.
“The nature of this scheme will bring significant inward investment to the area with the creation of new homes, new facilities and new opportunities for the residents of Pontefract.
“The site also forms an important part of the development of the new northern link road which will bring improved connectivity between Pontefract and the rest of the region.
“Although times are tough we are still achieving a lot and by working with Harworth Estates and other partners on ambitious projects such as these, we can continue to encourage economic growth across the district.”
Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“I am delighted the LEP has been able to support this development project in Wakefield through the Growing Places Fund.
“The loan will be used to kick-start the remediation work and access to a former colliery site and in time, this site will be used to develop over 900 residential units alongside business and leisure facilities.
“This is great news for the Leeds City Region as it not only creates jobs and prosperity but it also encourages future investment in the area.”
Commenting on the new Alkane facility, Stephen Land, Alkane’s operations director said:
“We are delighted to announce the opening of a new Alkane site and are pleased to be successfully working with Harworth Estates and Wakefield Council on this exciting opportunity.
“This is exactly the type of investment required at a time of scarce generating capacity in the UK market.”