The clear up of the former Avenue coking works site has been marked with a special tree planting ceremony.
The 240-acre brownfield site off Mill Lane in Wingerworth - which once housed coking works and was thought to be one of Europe’s most contaminated locations - has been restored after a major remediation project lasting 15 years.
And now Councillor Bette Hill, North East Derbyshire District Council cabinet member for housing, has planted an oak tree to mark the ends of the works.
She said: “It was one of the happiest and proudest days of my political life.
“The fact that we have gone from a dirty coking plant to somewhere where people are going to live and enjoy life is fantastic.
“It took a lot of time and a lot of people have been involved but it has been worth it.”
The multi-million pound project has been funded and managed by Homes England - the Government’s housing delivery agency.
Sir Ed Lister, chair of Homes England, said: “The Avenue will not just be homes but in later phases it will become a new community with a school, community facilities and areas for employment.”
The coking plant closed in 1992 and around 800 people worked there.
Kier Living Ltd has already begun work on the first new homes at the Avenue.
The company will build 252 properties, including 27 affordable homes.
Earlier this month we reported that a planning application had been submitted for a new roundabout to provide access to the southern half of the Avenue development.
A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “This roundabout and a new road just off the A61 will serve the Avenue, a major new housing and business development on the former Avenue coking works site.
“The roundabout is designed to improve the existing transport routes on to the A61 for local residents and businesses.”
Eventually, it is hoped the Avenue development will boast:
• Up to 1,100 properties by 2033;
• Around 12 acres of land for business uses;
• A range of facilities including a new primary school, shops and sports and recreation facilities ;
• Routes for cyclists and pedestrians within and beyond the site