THREE Huddersfield heritage groups have opposed plans for a new pub and hotel on Castle Hill.
Huddersfield Civic Society, Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society and Honley Civic Society have all submitted official objections to a planning application from developers the Thandi Partnership.
The partnership, run by brothers Mick and Barry Thandi, wants permission for a scheme that is an almost identical replica of the former Castle Hill Hotel.
It would have seven bedrooms, a bar, restaurant and public toilets.
There would also be a room for educational use, including information about the history of the hill.
The applicants say public opinion is in favour of their plans.
But the heritage groups have a range of concerns.
Castle Hill is a scheduled ancient monument and includes the Grade II listed Victoria Tower.
After the former hotel was pulled down in 2005, the site was designated as green belt land and the Thandis must therefore prove there are special reasons for a development.
But the archaeological society said the new hotel should not be built on green belt land.
Members also believe a hotel would detract from the character and setting of the site, undermine the “unique landscape” of the hill and that it would conflict with Kirklees Council’s own conservation management plan.
They also believe it would cause access problems.
“Castle Hill is one of the most important archaeological sites in West Yorkshire,” the society said.
“It is vital that our cultural heritage is not threatened by inappropriate modern developments which cause demonstrable harm to interests of local and national importance.”
Huddersfield Civic Society shared many of the same concerns.
Honley Civic Society said it did not usually comment on plans for development outside of its area, but felt strongly about Castle Hill.
In a statement it said the proposal would result in the detriment of the view of the hill and attract problems with parking and litter.
“We think the site should be left as it is and if any buildings are provided, they should be limited to an information centre and toilets,” the statement said.
It said that the former hotel had been allowed to be built in “less enlightened days” and added: “This site should be treated with care and respect.”
The public consultation period for the planning application ended yesterday.
The council’s planning department has received 14 objections and one comment from a resident supporting the proposal.