Kirklees Council have changed direction after their plans for Huddersfield Railway Station were derailed.
The council had set its sights on the huge and impressive St George’s Warehouse as part of its £250 million Huddersfield Blueprint.
The council was ready to buy the grade II-listed building and wanted to link it to the station turning the lower levels into a car park and the upper floors into office space, apartments or a hotel.
The council’s designs on the warehouse were scuppered when owners HD1 Developments Ltd threatened a legal challenge over planning rules the council wanted to impose on the town centre followed by Network Rail’s plans for a major upgrade of Huddersfield station.
Now the council has gone back to the drawing board and has been working in partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Trans Pennine Express to develop new plans, collectively known as the ‘Railway Station Gateway.’
Clr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Whilst Huddersfield Railway Station is already a striking arrival place for visitors, these plans will deliver a high-quality public space surrounding it and improve connectivity to the town centre.
“The new infrastructure will not only enhance the station forecourt but will improve pedestrian access with the bus station via Trinity Street and offer better movement around the space.
“Providing better access to public transport, increasing active travel, like walking and cycling opportunities, and adding additional park and ride spaces will encourage people out of their cars and help us to reduce carbon emissions.
“Our transport plans are an integral part of making the town welcoming, accessible and a draw for even greater investment.”
Station improvements include a new platform and provides an opportunity to look at improving facilities in the station such as new cafes, restaurants and shops.
Plans focus on improving three routes for walking, cycling and public transport: Kirkgate/Trinity Street – linking the station to the Trinity West mixed-use development (former Kirklees College) site and Greenhead College beyond, Northumberland Street – connecting to the University of Huddersfield’s proposed health innovation campus at Southgate on the route to the John’s Smith’s Stadium and John William Street/St John’s Road – joining to the new Huddersfield Market in Brook Street and Cambridge Road car park.
Various options are also being considered for improving the crossing facilities on the Castlegate section of the ring road. These include upgrading the underpass, improving the existing crossing, or constructing a foot/cycle bridge.
Funding will come from a revised application to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority under the Transforming Cities Fund and the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund.
Public consultation is likely in September.
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