HUNDREDS of new houses on York’s biggest brownfield site are a step closer with the news that millions of pounds of Government cash could be poured into the site.

The Budget announcement included the news that the York Central site – 35 acres of former railway land behind the station – is one of ten new Housing Zones.

Cllr David Levene, York cabinet member for economic development, said: “We’ve have been working closely with Network Rail to develop this site and this now signals a significant turning point in both the site’s history, as well as the city’s.”

He added: “The site will offer the city an opportunity to address the acute, growing shortage of high-quality office space, as well as addressing the severe challenges the city faces in providing homes.”

The ten Housing Zones will share £200 million of Government money, which council planning and development staff say will help the York Central project come to fruition sooner, and make sure the works are of a higher quality.

Housing Zone status will help speed up and simplify house building on the £500 million site because of the extra funding and special support provided from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Outline plans for the site would put 1,100 homes on the 35-hectare plot, in a partnership between Network Rail and City of York Council and, according to the council, could create 7,000 full-time jobs.

Work could start on site preparation and infrastructure and flood prevention work as soon as this year.

The council has already earmarked £10 million of its own funds for a new bridge to open up access into the site from the A59, plus cash from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund, and Leeds City Region Local Growth Fund.

The news has also been welcomed by Conservative politicians Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, and Robert McIlveen, who is running in the York Central constituency.

Mr McIlveen said: “Unlocking one of the key central brownfield sites will be a huge step forward.”

Mr Sturdy added: “The 35-hectare site currently lies derelict.

“This has been a great shame and the funding announced by the Chancellor will prioritise brownfield house building.”