Yorkshire farm gets permission to turn livery building into 'therapeutic' café

A Huddersfield farm has been granted permission to convert existing barns into a café despite concerns over dangerous nearby roads.

Huddersfield Town Hall

Gledhill Farm at Almondbury will convert part of its livery building into a café, kitchen and toilets and provide outside dining in the courtyard from 9.30am to 5pm, and to 4.30pm in the winter months.

The scheme involves a widened both access from Kaye Lane and a track to the farm between two neighbouring houses as well as creating 20 parking spaces on site.

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Locals who objected to the project said they had concerns about insufficient parking on site and the potential for parking on Kaye Lane, unsafe access on a “bad” bend, and noise nuisance to surrounding homes.

Those fears were echoed by local councillors at a meeting of Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield Planning Sub-Committee.

Councillor Andrew Cooper called for “a significant traffic calming scheme” as well as a detailed report on vehicle speeds on Kaye Lane.

Committee member Councillor Bernard McGuin said the confluence of Kaye Lane, Longley Lane and Ashes Lane, combined with drivers who exceeded the 30mph speed limit, prompted his concerns for the safety of local people.

Their comments were countered by Labour members, who said highways staff had provided evidence to assuage such concerns.

A vote to defer the plan was lost.

Farmer Steven Griffiths said the café would provide “a haven for peace and tranquillity”.

He called it “a place where families of all ages and abilities can come onto the farm and sit and relax, taking in the beautiful views looking over Huddersfield and having the added opportunities to see our animals grazing in the fields. Very therapeutic and educational for all.”

The farm runs alpaca treks in the shadow of nearby Castle Hill.

Planning officers said Mr Griffiths’ plan was smaller than a previously submitted version and that the café wouldn’t harm other local centres in Almondbury or Newsome, or affect Castle Hill.

The committee voted 8-2 to approve the plan. Coun McGuin abstained.