HUNDREDS of families will move into a new 'urban village' to be built on derelict town centre land.
Redrow Homes is already receiving inquiries about The Sidings, a development of 215 homes off Dunwoody Way and Richard Moon Street which has now been given the go-ahead.
The scheme will create a community complete with health centre, veterinary surgery, nursery and opticians.
It is the first major development within central Crewe since railway homes sprang up in the 19th Century, creating the town's network of small streets.
Planners see it as a major step forward in their drive to move Crewe firmly into the 21st Century.
Other schemes include the multi-million pound revamp of the town squares and Queensway shops and the super-modern Phoenix Park entertainments complex due to open by autumn.
As part of its planning permission, Redrow will chip in £100,000 to improve open spaces round the site.
Borough councillors have voted in favour of the scheme which will also include a new link connecting the junction of Flag Lane and Delamere Street with Dunwoody Way.
They believe the influx of families will boost trade along West Street and encourage more use of the town centre at night.
The area is quiet after dark in stark contrast to the buzz of Nantwich Road and Nantwich town centre.
Crewe development control manager Peter Cross said: 'All in all this is a very welcome development making use of a brownfield site which currently contributes little to the character of the area.'
Pensioners in Mavor Court, a sheltered housing complex in Flag Lane, welcome the scheme.
Resident Jim Davies, 86, said: 'The site is an eyesore so we will be pleased to see it turned into smart new homes.
'Also we understand it will involve traffic-calming measures which will help us old folk get across Flag Lane.'
Redrow is promoting The Sidings as ideal for first-time buyers, families and professionals.