WORK on an ambitious multi-million pound development set to create thousands of jobs could start within six months.

Demolition work to clear the old RAF Sealand east site to make way for the massive 400-acre Northern Gateway project is well advanced.

And developers say work could commence early next year with infrastructure work set to start at the end of the summer. An outline planning application is expected by the end of this year.

Northern Gateway will take up to 15 years to complete and is expected to include 650 houses and residential, office, warehousing and general work space.

Cllr Matt Wright, Flintshire Council’s executive member for Regeneration, said the project could see the creation of several thousand jobs.

He said: “In terms of my brief this is the top priority. This is a major employment zone. It is of major importance for Flintshire and it is of regional importance.

“This is fantastic for Flintshire, but we have to do things step by step.”

Cllr Wright said work would also be carried out on the roads.

Praxis Holdings, which owns half the land, is intending to form an extension to Deeside Industrial Park, and developer Pochin Goodman is behind the remainder of the site.

Last summer Praxis bought 247 acres of land at RAF Sealand and former Corus-owned land next to Garden City.

Sealand councillor Christine Jones said: “It is going to be great for the area and when it is finished it is going to be smashing. We need something coming in to the area and when it comes it is going to be a real boost for the whole of Flintshire. It is going to bring so many jobs for the young people.”

Cllr Jones said schools and colleges were being consulted on the range of skills on offer in the area.

Gareth Edmunds, from Praxis Holdings, said: “The demolition work is well advanced. The intention is to have the site ready to commence site servicing and infrastructure works by the end of the summer.

“We will submit an outline planning application for the whole 400-acre site by the end of this year. This is likely to include the detailed applications for the first phases of development.

“Subject to receipt of planning consent, work could start in early 2012. We will commence site-servicing works in the spring, with a view to releasing development plots towards the end of 2012.

“It will be a landmark employment-led mixed-use scheme, squarely focussed on large-scale inward investment and quality working environment.”