Councillors have finally agreed to the partial demolition of a landmark former Almondbury pub bringing to an end a mammoth planning battle that has lasted four years.

The listed Rose and Crown in Northgate has become an eyesore on the village’s main street after becoming mired in controversy since the original proposals were first put forward back in 2013.

Shelley-based developer G & R Lees’ plans will see the pub partially demolished to make way for three commercial units and a courtyard.

They were approved by Kirklees planners subject to minor negotiations with officers and the developers.

G & R Lees experienced opposition from some residents and also from English Heritage after submitting two separate planning applications.

So in February 2016 it submitted revised proposals to Kirklees Council.

These included the partial demolition of the boarded-up pub and the construction of a new building which could accommodate a new and larger Co-op as well as a restaurant and another retail unit.

Richard Wood, of Wood Associates-architecture+interiors, Holmfirth, who has been agent for the project, said: “Obviously it’s taken some time to sort it out. It has almost reached its conclusion.”

Friends of Almondbury Village have concerns over pub development plans for the Rose and Crown on Northgate
Friends of Almondbury Village outside the Rose and Crown on Northgate

Alec Michael, a partner with Leeds-based chartered surveyors, Michael Steel & Co, said: “A national retailer has been extremely interested in relocating to the site for some time and discussions with this party can now be advanced in the knowledge planning has been dealt with.

“During the planning process other interest has been received for a variety of possible uses and schemes.

”We are shortly to commence our search for other retailers to occupy the two smaller units and are confident of good demand from local, regional and even national operators.

“It is anticipated the long overdue development of this site will be welcomed by residents, the local authority along with the site owner.”

Almondbury group explains concerns over re-development of Rose and Crown pub

A spokesman for the Co-op said: “We can confirm that we are considering properties in this area but are unable to comment on specific sites at this time.”

Kirklees councillor Bernard McGuin, (Almondbury), said: “I hope the decision means that we are near the end of the Rose and Crown saga.

“The people of Almondbury have been very patient, watching this prime site in the village deteriorate.

“The building is the gateway to Almondbury. I hope the final result of the development will set off the rest of the conservation area in the village.

Chris Marsden, chairman of Huddersfield Civic Society, said: “It’s a fascinating case. The application for this site has had such a long history. The listed pub is now to be preserved with new-build to the side and back.”