THIS could be the future for Huddersfield town centre.
Plans for the £200m Queensgate Revival project were today formally lodged with Kirklees Council’s Planning Service.
Councillors say it is the next key step in the drive to consolidate the town as a major regional commercial and shopping centre.
The Queensgate planning application covers the parts of the area taking in the market hall, multi-storey car park, and former Co-operative store – now home to the Wilkinsons store – and adjoining buildings on New Street.
The site incorporates a new library, art gallery and information centre. Plans for the existing 1930s library building will be included in a second phase, possibly several years away.
The new plans also include a three-storey department store and additional retailing, a 100-bed hotel, 100 homes and an improved new market hall.
The blueprint also includes, bars and restaurants, up to 900 parking spaces, improved public and open areas, transport, and better pedestrian flows.
A future phase will cover the mixed use options for the existing library building and upgrading of surrounding public areas, including The Piazza.
The move comes weeks after bosses at the Kingsgate Centre submitted their multi-million pounds plans for an extension - a move rejected by Kirklees planners.
Clr Ken Sims, the council’s Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Subject to the planning process, we hope all the issues will be resolved within a year so we can get the scheme completed by 2011 or 2012.
“The submission of these plans is another important landmark in the wider commitment the council has to establishing Huddersfield, and Kirklees, as a major player in the retail and commercial arena of the wider region.
“The concept and blueprint of the project has been subject of extensive consultations and has been overwhelmingly supported in terms of its general direction and content.
“As a result we have listened to people’s concerns and comments, and have fine-tuned the scheme accordingly.
“I believe today’s proposals take on board all the major issues and produces a scheme which will benefit existing businesses while at the same time attracting new investors and businesses.”
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, who is concerned about future plans for the town centre in the wake of a bid by Tesco to develop in Southgate, said he broadly welcomed the new plans.
But he added: “Yet again, we appear to be looking at piecemeal developments with no overall picture of how the town centre should develop.”