ONE of Britain’s leading archaeology charities has blasted plans to rebuild a hotel on Castle Hill as ‘nothing short of disastrous.’
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) has described plans to rebuild the Castle Hill Hotel as ‘detrimental to one of the most significant historic sites in Kirklees.’
The CBA warns that the plan would set a precedent which would be ‘nothing short of disastrous’ for other sites of historical and archaeological interest.
And while a public consultation on the Thandi brothers’ proposal finished last week, Kirklees Council says it will consider the CBA’s letter which the council received earlier this week.
The Thandis have submitted a new plan to rebuild the hotel and pub, having had to demolish a previous new-build in 2005 because it fell foul of planning regulations.
But the plan has sparked objections from the public and organisations.
Designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM), Castle Hill is thought to have been the site of significant human activity for at least 4,000 years.
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In its letter to Kirklees Council planning officers, CBA’s Head of Conservation Jon Wright says the Thandis have failed to prove the exceptional circumstances necessary for building on an area of significant archaeological and historical importance.
Mr Wright said: “The CBA have been made aware of this application and wish to object in the strongest possible terms.
“Castle Hill and its surrounding landscape constitute a hugely important national heritage asset.
“The site also has immense communal value, both as a tourist attraction and as an amenity for local people and annual visitor figures are comparable with many other Yorkshire destinations.
“This is a unique and special place for the county and the country.”
Mr Wright adds: “It is the firm view of the CBA that the current proposals are not justified, do not take into account the findings and recommendations of the management plan and are not aligned with national or local policy.
“The proposals would be detrimental to one of the most significant historic sites in Kirklees.
“The subsequent effects of allowing this kind of development and the precedent it would set would be nothing short of disastrous.”
Founded in 1944, CBA educates the public about archaeology and aims to preserve historical sites.