A BUSINESSMAN has vowed to fight on against Kirklees as well as an individual councillor.

Steve Halifax, who owns Totties Garden Centre at Scholes, near Holmfirth, told the Examiner that he was seeking legal advice.

His move comes after Kirklees refused him permission to demolish the centre and replace it with a more modern building.

Mr Halifax added: “I’m going to fight this narrow-minded decision and I will prevail.”

Mr Halifax believes the garden centre, which he has owned for 12 years, needs to be modernised.

Existing buildings on the eight-acre site off Downshutts Lane include a canopied sales area, six polytunnels, an office, a shed, a greenhouse and toilets.

Mr Halifax wants to demolish everything except the shed and canopied sales area and put up an L-shaped block.

He said: “All we’re trying to do is knock down some old buildings and make the business viable for the next 10 to 15 years.

“The buildings are about 25 years old. When the wind blows it sounds like the roof’s going to come off. We’ve got to move into 2008.”

Mr Halifax said his customers wanted the business to be modernised, adding: “All our customers are asking when we’re going to get a tearoom.” He went on: “We only employ four people at the moment, but if we were allowed to rebuild it could go up by 10.”

Last week Kirklees’s Huddersfield Planning Sub-committee rejected Mr Halifax’s plan.

He said: “I’m meeting barristers this week and I’ll take this wherever I have to go. I’ve no option; if we can’t be competitive then the business will go bust.”

He is also upset that Clr Christine Iredale told the planning meeting she thought the proposed garden centre would be “a blot on the landscape”.

Mr Halifax said: “The design and appearance of the proposed building are considered acceptable by council officers, which is very different to what Clr Iredale said.

“I’ve sent her an email asking her to publicly renounce what she said. I’ll take the complaint further if she doesn’t.”