A bid to build on Castle Hill is back on the agenda.
Councillors will this week discuss the idea of a cafe/restaurant with bedrooms on the site of the old Castle Hill Hotel near to the iconic Jubilee Tower.
The Thandi Partnership has not yet submitted a planning application but want to resume plans to develop the site of the former pub.
Pre-application talks will take place on Thursday so they can get councillors’ views before pursuing the idea further.
Council papers say: “The intention is for a building to include a café/restaurant with bedrooms and potentially some interpretation facilities for visitors.
“The principle of building outside of the footprint of the former public house is also raised.”
In the council papers the agent for the Partnership adds: “A great deal of progress has been made by the key stakeholders in the site: KMC, Historic England and our clients, the Thandi Partnership.
“However, to move to a full detailed planning application will involve considerable further time, effort and expense on the part of the applicant to prepare the documentation required.
“The purpose of this informal approach is to determine a principle: whether or not there is a wish to see visitor facilities at Castle Hill.
“If there is, the detailed work for a full application is justified; if not, then there is little point in going further.”
The Thandi Partnership plan a “public-private” initiative that will provide visitor facilities, space for educational and research work and supervision of the site.
To do that, they need a “viable commercial element” and that’s the cafe/restaurant with hotel facilities.
The applicant adds: “All the work done so far is valueless if there is no desire on the part of Kirklees Council to see something happen at Castle Hill.
“Today visitors find no public conveniences, nowhere to obtain refreshments, nowhere to shelter from the elements and no opportunity to learn more about the important archaeology and history of the site.
“Despite recent improvements it remains a poor advertisement for our area.”
They pledge to “make it one of the most attractive, well preserved and visited destinations in Kirklees.”
They rule out building a copy of the former hotel, instead proposing a “modern building more sensitive to its setting.”
As per planning policy, the applicant needs to make a case for “very special circumstances” in planning policy to get it passed as it lies in the green belt.
The council’s Business and Economy/Regeneration department has said it supports the idea and recognises the investment, job creation and tourism boost it would have.