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First-phase work to begin at £1bn Ravenscraig project

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Developers have been given the go-ahead for the first, £200m phase of the £1bn mixed-use redevelopment in North Lanarkshire, with work expected to begin before the end of the year.

Detailed planning permission has been granted to begin £25m worth of infrastructure which will allow the construction of a £20m Sportscotland Regional Sports Facility to begin in 2007.

The facility will feature a full-size indoor football pitch with the capacity for 2,000 spectators and a 135m six-lane indoor athletics training strip. There will also be a 12-court sports hall and a number of outdoor turf and synthetic pitches.

Situated in North Lanarkshire, the redevelopment of the 1,110 acre brownfield site – which formerly housed the Ravenscraig steelworks – has been planned for more than a decade but was put on hold over the past couple of years following a number of legal challenges.

The challenges reportedly include one main, outstanding decision, on a House of Lords appeal by developer Land Securities against the Scottish Executive’s approval of an amendment to the local structure plan that gave Ravenscraig town centre status, thereby allowing large amounts of retail space to be built.

The House of Lords decision is expected by October, although Ravenscraig, the company behind the scheme, which includes Wilson Bowden Developments, Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire and Corus, intends to begin first phase work regardless of the pending appeal.

In total, the first phase of development – which will also include a £70m new campus for Motherwell College and 820 new homes – will account for around a quarter of the entire Ravenscraig site and is expected to be completed by 2009.

The director of planning and environment for North Lanarkshire Council, David Porch, said: “This development represents the biggest opportunity for positive change in the environment and economy of Motherwell for generations.

“The council and its partners are determined to ensure it is a success and that it benefits existing communities as well as the new residents and businesses that will come into the area.”

Photograph: An artist’s impression of how the Sportscotland sports hall at Ravenscraig will look

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Developers have been given the go-ahead for the first, £200m phase of the £1bn mixed-use redevelopment in North Lanarkshire, with work expected to begin before the end of the year.
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