Ambitious plans to regenerate the site of Ravenscraig steelworks have formally been given the go-ahead.
The project will take about 20 years
North Lanarkshire Council approved a scheme to create a new town on the site with up to 3,500 new homes, shops, offices, two primary schools and a bus and railway station.
The move is the largest planning application ever submitted in Scotland and will cost more than a billion pounds.
Proposals cover 1,150 acres and are aimed at redeveloping an area still recovering from the closure of the steelworks in 1992.
The council said up to 9,000 full-time jobs would be created by the plan, as well as a further 3,000 construction jobs while the development was being built.
David Porch, director of planning and environment, said the council's decision
would be welcomed in the wake of recent job losses in the area.
He added that the project was expected to take between 15 and 20 years to complete, with the retail centre due to open in 2008.
Mr Porch said: "It has been estimated that the completed development will increase the local tax base around £29m per annum and the spending power of the new population will also be very welcome to local businesses."
The plans will now be submitted to the Scottish Executive for final approval.