PLANS to build a children's hospice in Huddersfield are almost certain to be passed this week.
The Examiner can today reveal that support for the hospice is so strong and the plan meets criteria that Kirklees councillors are to send it straight to officials to iron out the details.
Hospice chiefs from the West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust will not celebrate until they are 100% sure after Thursday's planning meeting.
But they hope to release balloons on Huddersfield Town Hall steps in the hospice colours of blue and yellow once they get the formal go-ahead for the Brackenhall site.
They will be released by 16-year-old Calderdale girl Johanna Harris, who suffers from a severe debilitating condition.
Her mum, Sue, is due to speak to councillors at the meeting to give a parent's perspective about why the hospice is so vital.
Many other supporters are also due to speak at the meeting at 1pm on Thursday afternoon.
Hospice fundraising manager Mandy Barwick said: "It's fantastic news that Kirklees officials believe the hospice should go ahead and are urging councillors to delegate it to them.
"But there will be no celebrations until we are sure the hospice has the formal go-ahead to be built.
"Hopefully, that will be early on Thursday afternoon. There have been setbacks over the years, so we won't really believe it until we hear it."
The site is tucked away on three acres of designated urban greenspace land close to Bradford Road and near the new Ferndale estate.
The field is owned by Kirklees, but leased to a farmer. Nothing has been done with it for decades.
It is on land between woodland, a small group of cottages known as Fell Greave Farm and near the new development on Fell Grove.
Councillors are due to visit the site shortly after 9am on Thursday.
West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust has been raising money for nine years to build the eight-bed respite centre and hospice for sick and terminally ill children.
A report by planning officials to Kirklees's Huddersfield Planning Committee says the proposal meets all the planning criteria.
Highways officials are happy with access to the site.
The scheme has to start within the next three years and a landscaping scheme must be submitted to the council first.
The hospice will have two storeys and be at the far side of the field, away from Fell Grove.
Last month residents in Brackenhall spoke out about the strong support among the community there for the hospice.
Two petitions with 1,073 names in them have been given to the council.
Many of the signatures are people who live in Brackenhall and many have been raising money for the hospice.