A bid for a venue on Castle Hill is back on the cards.

And Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman says the town needs an iconic building on Castle Hill.

Meetings are taking place between the Thandi Partnership and Kirklees Council, although no formal planning application has been submitted.

The Thandi brothers, Mick and Barry Thandi, on Castle Hill
The Thandi brothers, Mick and Barry Thandi, on Castle Hill

The MP visited the site of the former hotel and pub with owners and developers Mick and Barry Thandi and said plans are almost back on track.

He is supporting a bid for a replacement venue and says current designs he has seen are “light years better than their original plans”.

He said: “I really feel we ought to work with the developers on this.

“People will know I was against them building anything that wasn’t in line with planning and English Heritage, and we’ve had our differences, but now is the time to really sort this out.

“We need this to be an icon of Yorkshire, it’s an national icon and an Iron Age fort that is beautiful and wonderful.

“I know the Thandi Partnership has a very good architect coming up with some interesting designs and they are working in consideration of English Heritage and the council’s planning and what local people want.”

 

Mr Sheerman visited the Castle Hill Hotel with the developers and described the wider site around the Victoria Tower as “a mess, dowdy and ugly”.

Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman at Castle Hill
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman at Castle Hill

The Labour veteran wants to put an action group together of local business leaders and advisors that can act independently on behalf of Huddersfield to work with the developers and their architects at One 17 Design.

He says there needs to be a proper archaeological dig to assess the history of the hill - but says the pub is missed.

“There should be a beautiful building where people can go for a coffee or a glass of wine, or a place for people to have picnics on a summer’s day,” he added.

“We need something sympathetic that will be good for the town and for Yorkshire.”

Asked what his relationship with the developers was like now, he said: “Good, they are developers and they want to develop a site within the planning guidelines and English Heritage rules and I want to work with them.

“After the bruising they’ve had in the past I think they are intending to do this in our best interests.”

Planning agents for the Thandi Partnership told us they are not in a position to comment at the moment.

The saga of the Castle Hill Hotel has rumbled on since a replica build of the old pub was knocked down in 2005 following a dispute with Kirklees Council after it breached planning consent.

The Thandi Partnership has applied for planning permission twice more but faced difficulties due to the greenbelt and nature of the site.

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