Shopping centre plan to go before council

Kingsgate Shopping Centre in Huddersfield
Kingsgate Shopping Centre in Huddersfield
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A proposal to build a huge new extension to a Yorkshire shopping centre is to be discussed by councillors today.

WD Huddersfield wants to build a £14.4m scheme at Kingsgate Shopping Centre in the town to create a multi-screen cinema and six restaurants linking to the existing shopping mall. The plans would also extend the Next store.

A council report said 259 new full-time jobs would be created and Kirklees’ economy will be boosted by £7.7m per year.

It added: “The proposed cinema and restaurant uses would enhance the existing nighttime economy of the town centre by providing a different offer to that provided by the high concentration of public houses and hot food takeaways within the vicinity of the site.

“There would be significant public benefits to diluting the ‘alcohol economy’ in this part of the town centre and the proposal would strengthen the vitality and viability of the overall town centre.”

The desire to extend Huddersfield’s main indoor shopping centre goes back to 2007, 11 years after Kingsgate was opened, but planning difficulties and the 2008 financial crash have delayed progress.

The company ditched plans for Kingsgate 2, which included demolishing part of Kirkgate, the former Palace theatre and Oldgate House, in 2014. It submitted revised plans for a smaller scheme last July.

Two grade two listed shops on Cross Church Street would be partially demolished to form the new entrance together with Fleece Yard, Sun Inn Yard and White Lion Yard.

Councillors on Kirklees Strategic Planning Committee will be able to comment on the plans for the first time at a meeting this afternoon. Councillors will not be asked to decide whether or not to give their consent at this stage.

Objections raised by Historic England, the Victorian Society, the Council for British Archaelology and Yorkshire Water will also be discussed.