THE consultation exercise into redeveloping the heart of Huddersfield may have been a huge waste of time and money.
Moves to list two of the town's historic buildings have thrown ambitious development schemes into confusion.
The plan to protect both the library and Queensgate Market means the council will have to completely revise its development options.
Listing does not mean the buildings could not be demolished but makes the process more difficult.
Additionally, alterations to listed buildings have to be made by first seeking advice from English Heritage.
That could mean the massive consultation carried out over the summer would have to be repeated.
The consultation, which cost thousands of pounds, asked the public for their views on the proposed schemes.
Ken Gillespie, Kirklees Council's director of regeneration, yesterday told councillors he was striving to find out what it would mean for each of the seven options put forward for consideration if one or both buildings were protected.
The redevelopment proposals costing up to £135 million were unveiled earlier this year. Some of the plans would see the area surrounding The Piazza flattened and completely rebuilt.
The plans also included the demolition of the landmark 1930s library and 1970s market hall - to widespread opposition.
The multi-storey car park could also be bulldozed.
Mr Gillespie said: "Situations evolve all the time and the council has now to take account of the potential implications of listing.
"I have asked our consultants to look at the implications on the seven options."
Clr Mark Hemingway, a member of the Overview and Scrutiny panel in Huddersfield Town Hall, asked simply: "If this listing goes through what's left to us?"
The answer was that only options one and two involve refurbishment of the library alone.
The other five blueprints either retain its frontage or see the building disappear altogether.
Listing could even mean that individual stalls in the market hall could be protected.
Mr Gillespie also stressed that Kirklees officers recognised the importance of the Market Hall.
Last week, the engineers and architects who designed the building returned to talk about the structure, invited by conservation group Huddersfield Gem.
"The council obviously treats this extremely seriously," said Mr Gillespie. "We are committed to having a good debate on this building. That is why we chose to support the Gem event."
Kirklees Council has just finished the huge public consultation exercise to determine which multi-million pound re- development plan is favoured by the wider community.
Another may have to take place.
Announcing plans for listing last week, Government minister Lord McIntosh praised Queensgate Market Hall, particularly the 21 asymmetric paraboloids designed to allow maximum light into the building.
Turning to the library and art gallery he said: "It is an exemplar of the period."
Repair the library and art gallery building.
Cost to the council: about £3.75m
Repair, refurbish and extend the library and gallery; also a development of 12 shops.
Cost to the council: about £1.15m
New library and gallery with some shops.
Cost to the council: about £650,000
New library and gallery behind the façade of the existing building, plus small number of shops.
Cost to the council: about £2.25m
New library and gallery, new market hall, hotel, car park and shops.
Cost to the council: nil
Repair, refurbish and extend the library and gallery building and new market hall, car park and shops.
Cost to the council: about £1.3m
New library and gallery, new market hall, car park and shops, but keep and convert the library and art gallery building for other uses.
Cost to the council: nil