THE bulldozers are to be sent into one of Chester's most deprived areas to clear the way for a multi-million pound scheme.
The ambitious project in the Treborth Road area of Blacon will create new jobs, improve life for residents and enable more first-time buyers to get on the city property ladder.
Councillors have approved a draft blueprint for a massive transformation programme - expected to cost at least £10m - which will create about 200 new homes, a tree-lined avenue, landmark buildings, a green and public art.
The plan, which will now go out to consultation, would see 168 existing flats, six homes and 54 garages on Treborth Road, Penmon Close, Dinas Close and Tregele Close demolished.
All but 25 have been boarded up since November when tenants moved out.
The Treborth Road Tenants' Association has been campaigning for their demolition for nearly five years but initial plans to raze them were shelved by Chester and District Housing Trust after a Housing Corporation grant fell through.
The trust expects to contribute around £3.5m to the project with a private developer providing the remainder.
The development will include two-bedroom apartments and two and three-bedroom houses.
Two-thirds are likely to be affordable trust properties, available both to rent and on a shared ownership basis.
The other third would be sold by the developer on the open market.
Other proposals would see secure parking and Penmon Close and Dinas Close treated as a Home Zone where people have priority over vehicles.
Refurbishment of the nearby Matthew Henry's Chapel could also be on the cards, with its facilities opened up.
Surplus classroom space at Dee Point Infants School may be used to create a Community Enterprise Centre and extended school childcare campus.
Cllr Reggie Jones (Lab, Blacon Lodge), chairman of One Voice for Blacon, said: 'We want Blacon to be the new opportunity for people to get onto the housing ladder.
'This is a great chance to show people what the area is really about. We want Blacon to be seen as good place for people to live and raise families.
'We need designs with community safety in mind, providing good lighting, street cleaning and grass cutting.
'This is a dynamic redevelopment which recognises there are a number of problems in the way the estate is managed.'