HD One bosses have revealed a shake-up to their £100m ski-slope and leisure scheme next to the John Smith’s Stadium.
Plans set to be lodged with Kirklees Council in the next few weeks will see the four-star Radisson Park Inn hotel moved to Town Avenue car park opposite the stadium.
Previously it was set to be squeezed into the corner of the golf driving range site off Stadium Way.
Drawings seen by the Examiner but not yet available to be published show a new three floor multi-storey car park will be built next to the hotel, to make up for the loss of spaces.
Buildings containing restaurants and bars, that were due to be in front of the ground, have been moved to the St Andrew’s Road car park, closer to the planned dry ski slopes on Kilner Bank.
Gareth Davies, managing director of Kirklees Stadium Development Limited (KSDL), said the revamped layout had come after it was realised it would be far better to have the hotel close to conferencing facilities in the current stadium and the eating facilities near to the leisure facilities.
He said the swap around pleased everyone as it allowed restaurant firms to be close to the leisure activities and gave KSDL a better residential conferencing offer as customers would not have to walk as far to the hotel from the suites in the stadium.
Mr Davies said the HD One team had now “frozen” the layout and agreed it would not change again if given the green light by council planners.
“It’s hugely exciting as we now have a fixed time frame for things,” he said.
“Up to May 2018 there will be a ton of things happening but you won’t see structures coming out of the ground.
“Then the building of structures starts in May and ends in November 2020.
“We plan to open the multi-storey in May 2019 and the hotel in October 2019.
“All of the bars, restaurants and leisure facilities open in November 2020.”
Mr Davies said if the new plan was rejected by Kirklees Council then they would have to revert to earlier proposals or adapt it as directed by officials and councillors.
He revealed 70% of the potential units were already filled, mostly by major high street restaurant chains, but vowed there would be some space for independent restaurants and bars.
Names will be revealed by the end of the year, which could include changes to those previously mentioned – Zizzis, Five Guys and Nandos.
The KSDL boss said the hotel and car park would be lower in height than the previously planned leisure structure that had parking on the roof.
He said HD One was in talks with nearby residents and the council on construction issues and vowed Town and Giants fans would never lose access to the stadium during the two-and-a-half-year build.
Building work will be done in phases with key sections taking place during the summer breaks of the football season.
The plan will see the overall parking capacity more than double from the current 979 spaces – mostly through the purchase of a plot in Gasworks Street.
Mr Davies said part of the appeal of Gasworks Street was it would re-balance the number of car journeys across each bridge over the river.
Currently the vast majority of visitors arrive at the north entrance, by Leeds Road Retail Park.
He said the seven acre Gasworks site was key, as it allowed far more vehicles to arrive and leave quickly than a multi-storey ever would have.
And he confirmed it was likely HD One would have to make a significant contribution to Kirklees Council’s planned road improvements around the stadium.