THE decision to block a plan for a new pub and hotel on Castle Hill has sparked a big response.
Kirklees Council’s decision to throw out a proposal by the Thandi brothers to build at the historic landmark has been welcomed by some.
But many others have attacked the planning committee decision, which was taken with a 7-3 vote after a 90-minute debate, attended by more than 100 people.
The Thandis have not yet indicated whether they will appeal against the decision.
Hours after that decision was announced, the Examiner website and letters column received an influx of messages, both for and against the plan.
Mr Angry said: “When the appeal process begins, as it most surely will, I hope the application is again refused as the Thandis had their chance and blew it with the blatant attempt to flout the original application. Full marks to the council this time for following the wishes of the majority.”
Jason said: “Castle Hill needs to be looked after and not abused. Yes, we need some sort of visitor centre that provides basic amenities BUT not a pub or hotel! This rejection was based on planning and green belt issues alone, nothing racial about it.”
iangr1946 said: “Typical. Politicians again going against public opinion. How on earth can this site be green belt when there has already been a pub/hotel there for nearly 200 years plus the folly that is the Victoria Tower? Go ahead, Thandis, and appeal this outrageous decision and good luck.”
aliban posted: “I think they should build McDonalds on the site as it serves ice cream and coffee. Kids love Happy Meals. McDonalds is the way forward.”
DavidH posted: “Hope you’re joking about McDonalds? Not quite what I had in mind, but it is a prime site for families to spend time in the summer months on a Sunday etc. Whatever it gets used for, the access roads will restrict/hinder its viability and cause problems for both visitors and the locals. Perhaps we should have a cable car linking to Farnley Tyas – now that would be impressive!”
MickXS said: “Unbelievable. How can they give planning permission for the extension a few years ago and now class it as green belt? The hotel should be brought back and built to the same spec, size and detail that it was originally built to. The planning committee is a shambles; they have no consistency.”
AntP posted: “Another typically idiotic, ill-thought out decision by Kirklees Council. The one thing that Castle Hill needs is this pub/hotel, all the council are doing is making sure a nationally important monument is used for only less than savoury purposes.”
Xavi said: “The decision is very disappointing. Why these politicians play politics everywhere, not bothered what public wants! So sad.”
StephB said: “So far, so good in my opinion. However, I guess we will be in for a punishingly long series of appeals against the decision until they eventually get their way. That’s the way it’s done, and all according to the existing rules and procedures. Enjoy the view of the hill whilst ye may!”
Disillusioned, of Brockholes, said: “Having attended the council meeting on Castle Hill, I regret to say that I found the position taken by certain councillors deeply disturbing. At the end, it required a legal officer to pointedly remind the chamber of the legal requirements for land designated as green belt. There is no excuse for councillors attending that meeting not being cognisant with the law.”
AB said: “On visiting my local newsagents last weekend, I was asked to sign a petition in favour of the Thandi Bros pub at Castle Hill. Mick Thandi claims 2,000 signatures is a true reflection of public opinion. How many people does he think live in Huddersfield? 2,000 signatures must represent at least 2% of the population. If they hadn’t demolished the original pub (without permission), which was well over 100 years old, they wouldn’t be in the mess they are in now.”
Kenneth Greenwood, of Berry Brow, wrote: “I was an earlier correspondent to the Examiner supporting the building of the hotel and also sent a formal letter to the council. It is just possible that it was out of time, but in defence and – I feel sure that it would be a view shared by a majority of supporters – the plan looked so good that I never thought, until I read of the united objections from various civic societies, that anyone except perhaps a few academics could have any serious objections to the plan.
“Indeed, I am still convinced that the majority of local people would welcome the reinstatement of the pub.”
Meg said: “Interesting decision Kirklees. I wonder if they will vote the same way in North Kirklees when the proposed Ponderosa site in Heckmondwike arrives at committee. This is also to be on green belt, the magic word of ‘jobs’ will no doubt mean that it is passed as a special case and we here in North Kirklees will lose yet another piece of green.
What’s good for Huddersfield doesn’t always transfer to our area.”