THE BROTHERS behind the controversial Castle Hill plan today claimed the public back them.

Mick and Barry Thandi want to create an almost identical replica of the former Castle Hill Hotel which was demolished in 2005.

But their pub and hotel plan has been opposed by three regional heritage groups and has been recommended for refusal by planning chiefs at Kirklees Council.

They claim the area around the Victoria Tower is green belt and said the £1m seven-bed hotel plan was inappropriate.

Today, after years of preliminary discussions the plan will finally go before councillors on Kirklees Council’s planning committee.

The Thandi brothers plan to hand in a petition showing that thousands of local people support their idea.

The petition, which was distributed around Huddersfield this week, has been signed by more than 2,000 people in just a few days.

The Thandis have also been given the public backing by the heads of a number of prominent religious groups, including the Springwood and Fartown Sikh Temples and the Hindu Temple.

Mick Thandi said the plan would substantially improve the area rather than detract from the historic monument.

And he said the petition was a true reflection of public opinion.

He said: “People do want the hotel.

“The council are saying it’s green belt, but the pub was there 100 years before the tower.

“How can it be green belt when the foundations are still there?

“All we’re saying is the interest has always been there.”

Sukdev Chahal, president of the Gurunanak Sikh Temple said: “Now, after 6pm nobody wants to go up there because children go there for sex and drugs and people go there and burn cars. The police have a lot of problems.

“When the hotel will be there, then security will be there and lights will be there.”

Mr Thandi said the full potential of the site for the local community was not being realised and tourism and the local community could be boosted.

“This has been going on for six years now.

“We used to get people from Switzerland and many other destinations staying there and they still ring and say ‘when can we come back?’

“The public understands what we’re up against. It’s basically politics, it’s got nothing to do with the green belt, it’s got nothing to do with any of the other issues.”

Costing between £750,000 and £1m to build, the hotel 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.

Members of the public are allowed to attend the planning meeting which is at 1pm at Huddersfield Town Hall.