Council to discuss Castle Hill proposals and housing schemes at the Town Hall

By ANISAH ARIF

The strategic planning committee will discuss plans today regarding Kingsgate Cinema and a number of other major housing schemes.

Several major schemes are being considered by planning chiefs in Kirklees at their first meeting of the New Year.

A variety of projects are going to be questioned for approval such as the hotel at Castle Hill, a new University space within the Huddersfield County Court building, and a cinema to be placed within Huddersfield’s Kingsgate shopping centre.

600 homes are allocated for land occupied by a fireworks factory at Crosland Moor. Other housing schemes are in Honley, Hade Edge, Heckmondwike and Batley.

Castle Hill

Today, Kirklees Council and the Strategic Planning Committee will debate the highly controversial Castle Hill proposals at Huddersfield Town Hall. Landowners Mick and Barry Thandi submitted designs which include seven bedrooms, a café, and “interpretation facilities” which is believed to be a visitor centre to attract tourists.

If constructed it will sit on the site of the former Castle Hill Hotel adjacent to the Victoria Tower.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat members of Kirklees Council have already voiced concerns around over-development and insufficient parking. However other councillors have reserved judgement on the plan.

In a “position statement” document, planning officers reveal they may accept the idea if some modifications are made.

Members of the committee will visit the site prior to discussing the Thandis’ proposals.

The meeting will also hear the initial reports of a host of consultees including; Historic England, the Campaign for Rural England, and the Council for British Archaeology – who all object to the proposal.

There is support for a nine-screen town centre cinema, which is earmarked for the top floor of what is currently House of Fraser in the Kingsgate Centre.

It is proposed that the store will be re-vamped to incorporate a food court and cinema entrance on the lower ground floor level with Zetland Street, and to convert the upper floor to a cinema by way of a roof extension to accommodate the screens.

The plan is recommended for approval by planning officers.

Huddersfield County Court

Another proposal includes changing Huddersfield County Court on Queensgate into teaching accommodation for the University of Huddersfield, which aims to use the space for its School of Human & Health Sciences.

Councillors will also be asked to comment on a massive scheme to build 630 homes, 70 care apartments, a GP surgery and a mall on a 71 acre (29 hectare) parcel of land in Crosland Moor.

The site, off Blackmoorfoot Road and Felks Stile Road, is currently part occupied by the Black Cat Fireworks factory. The development plan is by Empire Knight Group Ltd.

74 houses to build on land off Walkley Terrace in Heckmondwike is recommended for approval.

A proposal by Brockholes-based Conroy Brook Developments Ltd to build 41 houses on land off Dunford Road within the village of Hade Edge above Holmfirth has received more than 80 objections.

It is recommended for refusal.

A plan by BMS Group to build 62 houses on land off Woodhead Road in Honley is said by planning officers to “not constitute a sustainable form of development”.

A proposal to build 29 houses on land off White Lee Road in Batley is also recommended for refusal. Local councillors have argued that the development, by Jones Homes (Yorkshire) Ltd constituted over-development on one of the last green spaces remaining in Batley and Spen.

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