HUNDREDS of people have backed radical plans to redevelop a large slice of Huddersfield town centre.
But many of them want to retain at least the facade of the imposing library building - threatened with an uncertain future.
The results of Kirklees Council's public consultation on the redevelopment of Huddersfield's Piazza, library and market hall have been revealed.
Since April, a series of exhibitions, public meetings, focus groups and surveys have been held to discover Huddersfield residents' views on seven options for developing the area.
The options were drawn up by Leslie Jones architects, Antill Consulting and Summers Inman consultants.
One option involved refurbishment of the library, the others involved redevelopment around the Princess Alexandra Walk piazza.
The larger schemes included major changes to the library and demolition of the Queensgate Market Hall.
Around 74% of the 539 people who completed consultation forms were in favour of the larger schemes.
The most popular option was number seven.
This involves building a new market hall, car park and shops, plus a new library and art gallery.
The existing library facade would be kept, but the building would have a new use.
Results showed that support for keeping the library was based on its exterior look rather than its interior facilities.
Around 82% of members on the Kirklees Talkback Citizen's Panel said they wanted to keep it for its facade.
Around 44% of the panel members want to replace the market hall and 40% want to keep the existing building.
It was found that shoppers value the market hall stalls, but think it run down and unpleasant inside.
The three large-scale development options involve creating many new shops.
The consultation showed that many people fear the town could not support the new businesses.
Consultees wanted to ensure that open space on the piazza was not lost to development.
They want more greenery, seating areas and water features.
One aspect of the large development schemes that received negative views was the idea of having a hotel or flats in the area.
Some people felt accommodation would bring `life' to the area, but many thought it would be under-occupied.
Young people were opposed to flats and reported that they want more leisure facilities in the area.
Kirklees Council's Overview and Scrutiny Panel for Regeneration discussed the results yesterday.
They also discussed plans to list the library and market hall, which could ruin the large-scale development options that involve demolishing the market.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport is holding public consultations on whether to list the buildings.
Chris Marsden, of pro-market hall group Huddersfield Gem, criticised the council for not putting forward a large-scale option which involved keeping the 1970s market hall.
He said the current consultation results would be useless if the market was listed.
He said: "This was a waste of time because of this obstacle of the market hall, which I don't think was given recognition."
Kirklees Council director of regeneration, Ken Gillespie, said the council would develop alternatives depending on the outcome of the listing decision.
1: Spend £3.75m on repairing the library and art gallery.
2: Repair, refurbish and extend the library and art gallery.
3: Replace the library and art gallery.
4: Build a new library and art gallery behind the building's existing facade.
5: Replace the library and art gallery and market hall. Create new shops, a hotel, improve public spaces and car parking.
6: Refurbish, repair and extend the existing library and art gallery, replace the market hall, create new shops, a hotel, better public spaces and car parking.
7: Retain existing library building but use for another purpose. Create new library and art gallery, replace the market hall, create new shops, a hotel, improve public spaces and car park