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

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

Saturday, 27th April 2019, 12:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 08:57 am
The proposed link road which is the first stage of the DN7 Unity project

The DN7 Unity scheme, 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.

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.

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

The scheme is expected to create 7,000 jobs and trigger ‘potential long-term investment’ of £800 million. The whole project is expected to take up to 25 years.

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Doncaster mayor Ros Jones, speaking at an event on Thursday night, referred to 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.

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

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 total cost of the project is around £16.7 million. Some £11.2 million is being funded by the Sheffield City Region Local Growth Fund, another £3.5 million from Waystone and the remaining £2 million from the council’s own 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

The route comes off the M18 Junction 5/M180 roundabout where the existing services exit/entry onto the roundabout is at present.The road then crosses the existing farmland toward the council’s household waste recycling site off Bootham Lane and turns to go up and over the Doncaster-Scunthorpe Railway Line to tie in with the existing roundabout at Waggons Way close to the former Hatfield Colliery.The existing services entry/exit from the motorway roundabout is to be widened and turned into a dual carriageway for approximately 300m, where a new five leg roundabout will be built to serve the proposed industrial development either side of the link road as well as a new access into the Services.After the new five leg roundabout, the link road will run to a new three leg roundabout where Bootham Lane will connect in before heading up and over the Doncaster Scunthorpe railway line to tie in with the existing Waggons Way roundabout.The proposal will mean the construction of a new bridge across the railway line and new culverts/crossing points over three drains as well as accommodation works for the bridleway crossing at Cuckoo Lane appropriate to its usage.