Clock ticking on Huddersfield's Castle Hill as restaurant plans stalled

A view over Castle Hill.
-Credit: (Image: Kirklees Council)

The clock is ticking for the controversial development at Castle Hill.

The developer - The Thandi Partnership - has just 10 months to obtain a necessary consent and get construction work underway, before planning permission runs out.

In October 2020, plans for a restaurant with bedrooms, interpretation facilities for visitors, and a car park to be built on the ancient site, were narrowly approved by the council. Planning permission for the scheme was granted almost 18 months later, complete with a list of 30 conditions.

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Locals condemned the plans, with Almondbury ward councillor at the time, Cllr Bernard McGuin, commenting: “The council have sold the soul of Huddersfield for not much in return”.

Before any work can begin, Scheduled Monument Consent - from Historic England, has to be obtained due to the site’s status and archaeological significance. However, yesterday (June 17) Historic England confirmed that it is yet to receive an application from the developer for this permission.

The Thandi Partnership will have to act quickly if the project is to be realised as planning permission will expire in February next year if there have been no spades in the ground.

One of the mocked-up images for the planned development at Castle Hill
One of the mocked-up images for the planned development at Castle Hill -Credit:Malcolm Sizer Planning Ltd

The planning saga surrounding Castle Hill has rumbled on for decades with a stream of applications being turned down or falling through.

The Thandi Partnership acquired the original Castle Hill Hotel in the 1990s and had plans for its refurbishment. Planning permission was granted in 2002, though this development never materialised as a breach of planning conditions ultimately led to the new structure being torn down.

Since then, several proposals have been put forward by the developers until the latest was approved in 2020.

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