THIEVES have “stolen the heritage” of a village.

Twenty-three Yorkshire stone flags and a number of coping stones have been taken from Hepworth.

The theft happened at the bus turnaround point on Sheffield Road at the weekend.

A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said the flags and stones would have to be replaced with concrete ones.

She said: “This is the second time flags have been stolen and because of the location, there is no way to protect them in the future.

“It is therefore not appropriate to put Yorkshire stone flags back at this location.”

Clr David Hall, the council’s Cabinet member for highways, condemned the theft.

He said: “These people are stealing the district’s heritage, as concrete is much less pleasing aesthetically than Yorkshire stone.”

Holme Valley South councillor Ken Sims, who lives in the village, is disappointed that the Yorkshire stone will not be replaced.

He said: “I would be against putting concrete flags down in a conservation area.”

But Clr Sims conceded that it is difficult to protect the Yorkshire stone flags.

He said: “I don’t know how we can deal with people taking them at night. The stones are so expensive that these thieves are going to keep stealing them.”