Darren Smith Developments wants to build a two-storey library alongside 93 one and two-bedroom apartments on the site at Station Road – and turn the town’s existing library into a restaurant.
Lidl is building a larger store on the opposite side of Station Road in a move to create about 20 jobs.
The plan would see the apartments built in four blocks on three levels with parking on the ground floor. The library would be housed in a 2,000sq ft two-storey community centre which would also be available for other activities.
If the scheme is approved, Mr Smith is seeking an asset transfer deal to take on historic Eastthorpe Lodge, home to the current library, and redevelop it as an upmarket restaurant.
Mr Smith said it was hoped to lodge a formal application with Kirklees Council in six to eight weeks.
He said: “Given all the cuts that are going on we see it as an opportunity to provide the council with a facility which is more energy-efficient and more viable to look after and maintain. Eastthorpe Lodge is not in the best state of repair, it doesn’t have a lift access or toilets.”
Mr Smith said Eastthorpe Lodge would be “sensitively” refurbished to create a high-end restaurant while the new library would be a community hub for a range of events. Both would bring wider benefits to the local community, he said.
He said he was prepared to “front-load” the scheme so that work on the new library would begin before the housing scheme got under way.
Mr Smith said: “We have had a positive response from the library group and speaking to local people we are not getting any real negative vibes about it. It will make a huge difference to the town centre.”
Clr Graham Turner, cabinet member for resources, said the council would consider all suggestions for ways to maintain library services in the light of a £1.9m cut to the budget.
He said: "So far, there has been no substantial discussion. It is at a very early stage and we need to look at the proposal in greater detail. It is a suggestion from the developer which has to be taken in conjunction with the review of the library services.”