PLANNERS have given the green light for a huge new development next to the ring road.
Councillors voted yesterday to allow the Huddersfield University to tear down its ageing sports hall on the corner of Wakefield Road and Queensgate and replace it with a new £22.5m recreation centre.
But planners delayed making a final decision on the colour of the six-storey building which had earlier been condemned by Huddersfield Civic Society as a "a large blue mesh box on stilts."
The university submitted new information to Kirklees last week, including pictures which showed the sports hall in a ‘neutral’ green.
But Huddersfield Civic Society planning officer Frank O’Brien told Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield Planing Sub-committee that the revised proposal was little better than the original.
"It’s the same mesh box, just a different colour of mesh," he told councillors at Huddersfield Town Hall yesterday morning.
"The mesh box is still too near Wakefield Road."
Mr O’Brien compared the proposed sports hall with the new Kirklees College campus on Manchester Road.
"It’s the same thing – a building made of the wrong materials and too big for its site," he said.
"The building may be what the university needs but it isn’t what the people of Huddersfield deserve."
Colin Blair from the university urged the sub-committee to back the plan.
"Most universities have seen a downturn in applications of 10%," he said. "We’ve taken a smaller hit but we need to stay ahead of the game.
"This facility will allow us to do that."