Work on a new link road which it is hoped will trigger the regeneration of Doncaster’s waterfront is to start.
Contractors are due to move on to the site near Doncaster College’s Hub campus on Monday to start building a new road link connecting to the junction at Holmes Market roundabout.
The road will pass through National Grid’s site to provide direct access into the wider 15 hectare development site which has stood empty for years.
The proposals to develop the site, which used to house the town’s gasworks, have been in the pipeline for more than a decade and were first unveilved by then Mayor Martin Winter in 2002 as part of a £670 million redevelopment of Doncaster which also included the Civic and Cultural Quarter, Robin Hood Airport and Keepmoat Stadium.
Doncaster Council completed the first phase of the road scheme in 2013 when improvements were made at Holmes Market roundabout to increase road traffic capacity on the road network.
Council bosses hope the link road will make the site more attractive to developers, although no firm proposals have been outlined.
Mayor Ros Jones, said: “As one of the largest waterfront sites of its kind in the UK, this new access road will make the site viable and attractive for developers and investors.
“The plan for Waterfront is to create a high quality development that could comprise of residential, retail, commercial, education or leisure developments, complementing the marina and Doncaster College’s Hub building. These works will help make this vision become a reality.
“With the Civic and Cultural Quarter continuing to regenerate Waterdale, the FARRRS link road enabling developments like iPort to get off the ground and a national High Speed Rail College in the pipeline we are implementing projects that create the right conditions for moving Doncaster and its economy forward.”
The works will take about eight weeks to complete and there will be minimal disruption to motorists, the council said.
The first phase was completed in 2006 with the opening of The Hub, which sits alongside the marina and has become a popular mooring spot for visiting narrowboats and pleasure cruisers.
The work also included improvements to areas around the canal basin with tree planting and street furniture being installed.
Since then, a large chunk of the site off Chappell Drive has been used as a car park with the remainder of the site, which formerly played host to the town’s gasholders and alongside the South Yorkshire Navigation Canal, being fenced off.
Hundreds of jobs are expected to be created during the construction phases of the development.