Kirklees Council is pressing ahead with a £3.9 million improvement scheme for Holmfirth which has proved controversial with some traders.

The Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan is a joint project with West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The biggest part of the scheme will see the existing Holmfirth Market Hall demolished and replaced with a multi-use car park and public events space. A new market is planned elsewhere in the town after a licence to operate was granted to a new company, Holmfirth Forward.

The council is also planning road changes to help ease congestion as well as building safer, wider footways.

Upgrades are planned to existing signal-controlled junctions, changing zebra crossings to pelican crossings and the speed limit in the town centre will be reduced to 20mph.

Most controversial are changes to loading provision on Victoria Street. A new loading bay and two disabled parking spaces would be introduced to the north side of Victoria Street.

READ MORE: Holmfirth traders make last ditch plea to Mayor of West Yorkshire

Traders have been vocal in their opposition and Greg Christofi, of long-established Old Bridge Bakery, says not being able to take deliveries on his side of the road will put his business at risk.

Planning permission has been granted for the market hall demolition and the rest of the scheme will be put to the council’s Cabinet for approval in August.

Victoria Street in Holmfirth. Pic by: SEAN DOYLE

Clr Peter McBride, Cabinet member for growth and regeneration, said: “Holmfirth is a beautiful, bustling Kirklees town and a fantastic place to live and visit. That’s why it’s vital to maintain and improve the town centre for locals and tourists alike.

“If approved, this plan should bring huge benefits to Holmfirth in terms of safety and ease of access, making visits to the town centre an easier, more enjoyable experience and thereby increasing footfall for local businesses.

“Creating a new potential events space in Holmfirth would also make the town’s offering more dynamic, which is something we’re passionate about in our centres across Kirklees.

READ MORE: Here’s what will replace the demolished Holmfirth Market Hall

“A key aspect of these plans is that they’re future-proofed, which means we’re excited not just about this work but the possibilities going forward.

“This project would pave the way for further improvements which would continue to boost Holmfirth’s offering and industry well into the future, and will allow us to grow and change with the times.

“Now that planning permission has been granted, we very much hope to see the plans supported by Cabinet later this year.”

The council said there had been “extensive engagement” with local people. If the plans are approved by Cabinet in August, the council will aim to commence work in early 2023.