THE controversial redevelopment of St George’s Square has been backed by a heritage group.
Kirklees Council unveiled its £4m revamp of the landmark last month, including jets and a waterfall.
Margaret Thatcher’s former press secretary Sir Bernard Ingham recently damned the new-look square as a waste of money during a visit to the town.
It followed widespread criticism with many people writing to the Examiner’s Mailbag letters page to attack the square.
But Huddersfield Civic Society has now defended the revamp, saying it has improved the town.
Vice-chairman John Lockwood said: “We welcome the redesigned square because it provides a generous open space for public events in an area more free of traffic, now confined to the sides.
“It also provides an excellent setting for the grand Victorian buildings which surround it by its tasteful, uncluttered layout which does not compete with them.”
Mr Lockwood also defended the jets outside Huddersfield Railway Station and the waterfall by John William Street.
“The square is enhanced by the sight and sounds of the water features,” he said.
Mr Lockwood added that the society was looking forward to further improvements of the square and the town centre.
He said: “This is another stage in the planned programme to improve the Huddersfield streetscene which began with the pedestrianisation of Byram Street and repaving John William Street and other areas.
“We look forward to the square’s further enhancement with floodlighting the station facade and the surrounding buildings and hope to see work commenced on the scheme for St Peter’s Gardens in the near future.”
The new-look St George’s Square was officially unveiled on Thursday October 22.
The revamp took 18 months and was completed a year behind schedule.