A new place to smoke flavoured tobacco could be on the horizon for Huddersfield.
A businessman has lodged plans to open a shisha lounge in a balcony fronted building on Kirkgate opposite Huddersfield Parish Church.
The proposal would be in empty premises that are part of the Packhorse Centre, above Rivers Chinese restaurant on the corner of Cross Church Street.
Plans lodged with Kirklees Council reveal the potential shisha bar is within the town centre conservation area and close to several listed buildings, including the church itself.
The developers have said they do intend to alter the exterior to make the balcony overlooking the church bigger.
If given the green light they will also serve desserts and hot and cold non-alcoholic drinks.
They say the plan will revitalise an empty building in an area where development of leisure facilities is being encouraged.
It is still legal to operate a shisha lounge although the smoking ban of 2007 has made things more difficult.
Shisha, typically smoked through a hookah, or water pipe, is tobacco based.
Huddersfield already has one shisha venue opposite the university, which has in the past been the target of police and Kirklees Council raids for illegal smoking.
In 2016, the Arabian Lounge was found to be breaking the smoking rules and during the checks, police found large amounts of counterfeit tobacco.
Planning experts have said the guidelines around what defines a “confined area”, where smoking is banned, vary by council.
Outdoor balconies that have awnings or canopies are still declared as confined by some authorities.
Failing to prevent smoking in a building that should be smoke free can have serious consequences, including fines of up to £2,500.
Kirklees public health officials have previously warned that shisha pipe smoking can be more detrimental to health than cigarettes.
That is because some people do not realise the cooled smoking sensation is tobacco.
They also revealed there had been a case in Kirklees of deadly lung disease TB (tuberculosis) being passed through a shared shisha pipe.