A BUILDER says latest plans to transform Huddersfield town centre echo his own ideas - sent to planners 10 years ago!
Architects have been challenged to come up with ambitious schemes to revamp the public library, art gallery, piazza and market hall.
But a builder got no feedback from Kirklees Council officials when he put forward detailed plans in 1994, as requested.
Now, Roy Brook is sceptical about the latest proposals and feels they will do little to truly enhance the town.
Ten years ago the founder of Roy Brook Builders and former chairman of Huddersfield Rugby League Club, was invited by Kirklees to submit maps, artists' impressions and ideas on how Huddersfield's shopping centre could look.
He did - but never received a reply.
Now there are seven schemes on offer which could see a revamp of the library's surroundings.
Some of the ideas echo those which Mr Brook, who is now retired, suggested the mid-90s.
A bridge link to the university, a covered car park using the natural slope of the town, the demolition of the market hall and the creation of a cultural focal point were all in Mr Brook's plans.
"I employed all sorts of people. It cost the earth," he said.
He thought that Huddersfield - rather than just being a town sandwiched between Leeds and Manchester - could compete with both cities if decision-makers had true ambition.
Mr Brook, who divides his time between Huddersfield and Huntingdon, suggested roofing over much of New Street, to create a vast arcade, akin to Sheffield's Meadowhall complex.
The network of covered walkways would also resemble the successful Metrocentre in Gateshead.
He said there should be plenty of parking for increasing traffic.
But, most important, there had to be some kind of magnet to lure people into Huddersfield.
"If we want to pull people to Huddersfield we want something that's an icon," said Mr Brook.
"We have got to bring people in and we have got to have iconic buildings."
He said Birmingham's Bull Ring shopping centre and Sydney Opera House showed the way that a single building could enhance a commercial and cultural centre.
"The emphasis for Huddersfield is to create a striking objective that will attract people and that will enhance the economy and compete with Leeds and Manchester."
He added that the Kingsgate centre had not been the way forward and lacked the scale necessary to truly boost Huddersfield's fortunes.
"When Kingsgate was built they were pulling that sort of thing down in Manchester," said Mr Brook.