PARENTS and children will benefit from a new children’s centre.
Councillors voted yesterday to approve plans for the centre at Farfield Road in Almondbury, bringing an end to a long-running controversy.
Last year Kirklees Council proposed opening a combined children’s centre and library at the derelict Farfield Road site.
But this would have meant closing the village’s historic library at Stocks Walk, an architectural treasure which was opened in 1904 with funding from Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie.
Kirklees Council chiefs eventually agreed the library could remain at Stocks Walk after more than 1,000 people signed a petition protesting against the closure.
Yesterday’s Huddersfield Planning Sub-committee unanimously approved plans for the children’s centre on the old Fusseys allotment site at Farfield Road.
A single-storey natural stone building will be constructed on the disused allotments site.
The new centre will have 10 dedicated parking spaces with a further 35 spaces for shoppers visiting Almondbury village centre.
Children’s centres provide education, childcare, health services and parental advice under one roof.
Sub-committee chairwoman Clr Linda Wilkinson welcomed the plan.
The Alm-ondbury Lib Dem councillor said: “This children’s centre will be of great benefit to the community. It’s an excellent site just off the main street and at the minute it’s derelict and does nothing for Almondbury.
“I think this will become a focal point of the village as well as providing some welcome extra parking spaces for shoppers.”
Fellow Almondbury Lib Dem councillor Ann Denham agreed.
She told the sub-committee that the loss of green land could be justified in this case.
Clr Denham said: “I would usually be very reluctant to take away allotments but, in this case, the plots have been derelict for some years and there are other vacant allotments nearby.”