Mystery over Save Castle Hill campaign as councillor denies responsibility for 'annoying' posters and stickers plastered across Huddersfield

Posters and stickers proclaiming “Save Castle Hill” have appeared on lamp posts, litter bins and roadside power boxes in Huddersfield.

Posters and stickers have been plastered across Huddersfield.

And they point direct people to an online petition at Change.com – ‘Do you want to protect Castle Hill?’ – set up by a Kirklees councillor.

Signatures on the petition, started by Councillor Bernard McGuin on behalf of the iconic landmark in Almondbury, have been increasing.

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But Coun McGuin has denied responsibility for the on-street campaign and says he considers it to be fly-posting.

The stickers point to a petition set up by councillor Bernard McGuin, who has denied any involvement

“It’s nothing to do with me,” says Coun McGuin, who was re-elected last week.

“What’s more I don’t want to be associated with it. These signs are annoying everyone.

“They’re in Huddersfield town centre, Waterloo, Lepton, Thurstonland, even Holmfirth.

“People have been complaining to me, but I haven’t put them up or asked anyone else to do so.

“I’ve been put in a really poor position.”

As of Wednesday (May 13) the petition stood at 1,046 names. It argues that the current application by the Thandis “is not the answer” for what should be built on the flat-topped Iron Age hill fort, which can be seen for miles across Kirklees.

Coun McGuin’s petition ‘Do You Want to Protect Castle Hill?’ refers to the decision last October by Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee to approve a low-lying cafe/restaurant with bedrooms and interpretation facilities for visitors plus a car park atop the hill.

The vote went through 4-3 with four Labour members backing the development.

The petition highlights that the development is planned by entrepreneur brothers Mick and Barry Thandi, who caused outrage when they flattened the original Castle Hill Hotel in 2003.

What’s more the original stonework was controversially disposed of.

Last year Coun McGuin, a vocal critic of plans for Castle Hill, warned the committee it would be “guilty of condoning vandalism on a much-loved site” if it gave the green light to the scheme.

Architect Kevin Drayton has previously described Castle Hill, which includes the 1890s Victoria Tower, as “the premier heritage asset of Kirklees and certainly the most prominent”.

He has said the public benefits of the Thandis’ scheme “are enormous in themselves but they may be the catalyst that sparks a beneficial wave of general regeneration.”