A rare moment of agreement by rival councillors has saved a church a fortune.
The famous green copper roof at Almondbury Methodist Church is set to disappear after approval for a black rubber one was given against the advice of council planning officials.
The church, off Westgate, in the middle of a conservation area, was advised it needed to replace the roof like for like.
A Kirklees Council planning officer claimed anything other than copper would be an “incongruous feature on a prominent building” despite advice from the council’s own conservation team that “on-balance the Firestone rubber covering was acceptable”.
Church leaders were rescued when Labour and Conservative councillors on the Huddersfield Planning Sub-Committee over-ruled the guidance, saying common sense should prevail.
Almondbury Tory, Clr Bernard McGuin, said: “The roof has been part of the landscape for a long time.
“The copper colour was put on in 1969 and it turned green because of acid rain.
“That wasn’t the intended colour of the roof.
“Almondbury is a conservation area and most roofing in the area is slate.
“People will soon forget that we used to have a green roof in Almondbury.”
Holme Valley South Conservative, Clr Ken Sims, said: “I don’t know why our planners are insisting on copper.
“It was used in those days because it was lighter than tin.
“If you put copper on there now it will be shining bright and you can guarantee within three months it will be gone – ask the police.
“We have to think about these things nowadays.”
Clr James Homewood, Labour member for Ashbrow, said: “I feel in a time that the council provides less services and there’s less money around, it it sensible to ask them to spend more money to make a slight tweak. Does it make much difference?”
Colne Valley Labour councillor, Rob Walker, was the only one to speak against.
“The roof is an attractive and distinctive feature, which enhances its appearance,” he said.
“Losing that will lose us an important feature in the conservation area.”
Councillors voted by four to two in favour of allowing the church’s plan.