Variation condition 2 (plans and specifications) on previous permission 2022/93248 for demolition of existing Piazza shopping centre; part removal of Queensgate Market.

Planning application number: 2024/90257 (click on link to see full planning application). Variation condition 2 (plans and specifications) on previous permission 2022/93248 for demolition of existing Piazza shopping centre; part removal of Queensgate Market.

Phase 1 (S73 planning application and Listed Building Consent for Queensgate Market and construction of Library)

Comments by Huddersfield Civic Society


  • The society laments the absence of both a management summary and an explanation of the documents presented. This is particularly important when a major set of amendments is made to a previous application, especially in the case of applications submitted on the Council’s behalf.
  • The society supports the proposal and the overall purpose of repurposing the former market hall and creation of a new library. Following consultation with the agents for the application, for which the society is grateful, specific comments are as follows:

External Design Details

  • Accept the removal of the upper level of the library building which will reduce the scale and impact of the new build.
  • Support the retention and refurbishment of the existing stairs from Queensgate subject to the assurance that details will be in line with the original 1970 fabrication.
  • Support for the removal of panels/doors below the ceramic panels on the Queensgate elevation as shown on the original application.
  • Support for the replacement and improvement of glazing and re-alignment of glazing bars, particularly on the clerestory, in view of the building’s poor thermal performance.

Internal Design Details

  • General support for the re-organisation of internal spaces, including rationalisation of public/private spaces, retention of internal walls and spaces and re-siting of archive storage to the lower level.
  • Request for consideration of waste management facilities particularly in relation to changing disposal and collection facilities and requirements.
  • Request for greater provision of EV plug-ins in basement area. Emphasis on changing requirements from diesel for commercial vehicles make this a necessity in meeting near-future requirements.

Landscaping and External Access

  • Request to ensure ramped provision for bicycles at the side of new stairway from Queensgate.
  • Request for marked increase in provision of secure bicycle storage, particularly in the light of building uses, proximity to the University campus and possible future use of site previously identified for art gallery and promotion of active travel.
  • Review of public space, particularly that between the library/food hall and proposed museum/art gallery within the former library to better recognise the synergy between the various components of the wider plan and enhance the visitor experience eg by introducing artwork, sculptural features and promoting external exhibitions.
  • A clear statement is required on what will constitute the boundary between demolished and remaining areas over the next few years including details of any boundary treatment and security provisions.

Relationship with Wider Cultural Heart Framework

  • Request for greater consideration of wider Cultural Heart links and relationships. Concern that current amendments are largely predicated on Phase I, in isolation to issues of pedestrian movement, connectivity and related spaces. This is highlighted on the submitted plans which indicate the gallery and museum on separate sites rather than amalgamated within the former library (although HCS wishes to emphasise its concern regarding the amalgamation of the two and reduction of space for displays and collections).
  • Demolition and management of future phases. Because the intention of the current application is to secure development of the Phase 1 library and food hall, there is little public information available relating to the retention of remaining ‘Piazza’ buildings, the car park/events arena, related landscaping, their temporary uses and indications of how these will be managed and maintained. Given current constraints, parallel to the current application there needs to be a level of clarity relating to these significant areas. Inevitable delays will severely impact on public perceptions of the town centre and vacant sites and property will not improve without improved engagement relating to the wider picture.