Dewsbury's historic heart is to be protected.
A new planning blueprint set to be brought in will lay down strict guidelines for future developments in the town centre.
And the aim of the design brief will be to try and protect the town’s historic Victorian architecture from gaudy, modern development.
The new design guide for Dewsbury is to be discussed by the Kirklees Cabinet on Tuesday.
One other aspect will be to free some developers from the need to submit planning applications – providing their ideas meet the criteria of the design guide.
The guide has been funded from the Dewsbury Enforcement Strategy and it aims to produce high standards of design in the town centre.
It sets out design principles that the council expects to be followed when planning applications for Dewsbury town centre are made and will aid the council’s efforts to resist poor design and give weight to its position in future appeals heard by the Planning Inspectorate.
Kirklees Council is currently working on the restoration of the listed Pioneer House in Northgate.
The Victorian building was subject to a compulsory purchase and will become offices and retail units.
Clr Paul Kane, chairman of Dewsbury Regeneration Board, said: “What sets Dewsbury apart is its rich architectural legacy and the character of its acclaimed conservation area – unique assets of which Dewsbury residents and businesses can be proud.
“This design guide is a framework which sets out simple and achievable standards of design, not only for our buildings, but also our open spaces and the public realm.
“This in turn helps us to preserve and enhance our town’s special character – the very qualities which enhance its attraction to visitors, shoppers and businesses, all of which will contribute to increased viability and vitality.
“This guide is a further demonstration of our commitment to Dewsbury and its development.
“It complements the positive work that has already taken place within the town centre as a result of the Strategic Development Framework, and anticipates the benefits yet to come from the Dewsbury Townscape Heritage Initiative grant scheme.”
Clr Kane said past developments such as the Princess of Wales shopping precinct had been good for the town and the new guide would require quality designs for new projects.
“It perhaps doesn’t go as far as I personally would like, as I would love to see a uniform livery for shops and businesses in the town centre.
“But we want people to use this guide as a working document to help maintain the wonderful character we have in Dewsbury.”