BACKERS of a £200m project to revive a huge part of Huddersfield have moved to allay concerns about the massive scheme.
The Waterfront Quarter aims to transform a 12-acre triangle of land bordered by Chapel Hill, Manchester Road and the River Colne.
It envisages a scheme providing 500 flats, high-quality offices and a small number of shops.
Features will include riverside walks, bridges and opening up part of Huddersfield Narrow Canal, which had to be put into a tunnel through the site when it was recently restored.
But Examiner readers have voiced worries about traffic congestion, the amount of car parking to be provided and the possible impact of more shops on the town.
The scheme is being backed by Sellers International group chairman David Armitage and Tim Sugden, managing director of group subsidiary Sellers Engineers Ltd.
They have set up Ramsden and Colne Developments to tackle the scheme in partnership with Liverpool-based Castlebridge Developments.
Mr Armitage stressed: "The scheme will be very carefully planned.
"The site has an 18-metre `fall' from the top end at Manchester Road to the bottom end at Folly Hall.
"It will accommodate a large amount of car parking - some of it underground."
Addressing concerns about shops, Mr Armitage said: "General traders need have no fears. We are proposing cafes, wine bars and restaurants and perhaps one or two specialist shops."
Mr Armitage said one suggestion was that Sellers Travel, part of the Sellers group, could move on to the site from its current premises on the opposite side of Chapel Hill.
Answering queries about employment prospects, Mr Armitage said the scheme could create 2,000 jobs. This is made up of the construction jobs, office-based posts and some retailing staff.
The flats proposed for the scheme would be aimed at young, professional people rather than families - answering worries about pressures on local schools.
Developers will meet Kirk- lees Highways this week to discuss the impact of the scheme on congested roads.
Mr Armitage said: "We do recognise there is a highways problem to be resolved - but they are not a reason for ditching the scheme."
Mr Armitage said developers would consult other bodies, including Huddersfield Civic Society, about their plans - and would "take on board" arguments that the scheme should feature Yorkshire stone.
"We will talk to a variety of people before submitting an outline application."