DN7 Unity: First stage of ‘new town’ in Doncaster finally gets going after years of delays

An artist's impression of the marina that's planned
An artist's impression of the marina that's planned

Work has finally begun on the first stage of a massive multi-million pound regeneration project in north-east Doncaster

The DN7 Unity, which comprises of a new link road from the M18 to Waggons Way in Stainforth, 3,100 new homes, a marina, shops, parks, schools, a GP surgery and business space, was originally supposed to start in 2017. 

The proposed link road which is the first stage of the DN7 Unity project

The proposed link road which is the first stage of the DN7 Unity project

But the project was delayed due to ‘non-engineering’ issues’ such as a deadlock between Network Rail and developer Waystone over the construction of a new road bridge over the Doncaster-Scunthorpe rail line.   

The scheme is expected to create 7,00 jobs and trigger ‘potential long-term investment’ of £800 million. The whole project is expected to take up to 25 years. 

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones speaking at an event on Thursday night reference the DN7 Unity project and said the development was like a ‘new town’.

A new junction at the M18/M180 and a new 1.8 mile link road will make it easier for residents in Hatfield, Dunscroft and Stainforth to access the motorway.

Neil Beck (Balfour Beatty), Stuart McLoughlin (Managing Director of Waystone), Ros Jones (Mayor of Doncaster), Dan Jarvis (Mayor of the Sheffield City Region)'and James Muir (Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership)

Neil Beck (Balfour Beatty), Stuart McLoughlin (Managing Director of Waystone), Ros Jones (Mayor of Doncaster), Dan Jarvis (Mayor of the Sheffield City Region)'and James Muir (Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership)

The link road is the first stage in the project and the council is hoping the development will be completed by August 2020. 

The total cost of the project is around £16.7million. Some £11.2million is being funded by Sheffield City Region Local Growth Funding (LGF), another £3.5million from Waystone and the remaining £2 million from the council’s capital programme. 

Mayor Jones said the scheme was ‘another example of the council getting things done’. 

“The start of the work on the Hatfield link road will crucially unlock substantial inward investment, stimulate economic growth and deliver jobs across the borough and the wider region,” she said. 

“I am delighted we have reached this major milestone which has seen us working closely with our private and public sector partners and successfully overcome a number of challenges along the way. It is another example of the council getting things done.

“When it comes to investment, Doncaster means business. This bold plan is just another example of one of the major projects being delivered which are transforming Doncaster into a great place to live, work, invest in and visit.”

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis, said: “The Hatfield link road is another great example of the Local Growth Fund delivering major improvements for our residents and businesses.

“I’m pleased to see that work has started on this transformative scheme, which is the single largest investment of Local Growth Funding in any one project within our region.

“It will create thousands of jobs, enable new homes to be built, and boost our economy.”

Stuart McLoughlin, managing director of Waystone Limited, welcomed commencement of the link road construction.

He said: “This is a key milestone in the programme to deliver the Unity regeneration project. The mixed-use development wraps around the villages of Hatfield, Dunscroft and Stainforth and is set to provide new homes, jobs and leisure facilities over an extended period of up to 25 years.”

More on the link road