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Kirklees Council ready to take next steps on plans for Dewsbury Town Park

Kirklees Council officers will ask cabinet on the 16 November to approve the next phase of developing plans for Dewsbury Town Centre Park. The main aim of the new park is to make the town more attractive. Improving the town centre experience for residents and visitors alike will increase positive perceptions of the town.

A new public park in the heart of the town would provide an opportunity for communities to come together to socialise and enjoy the outdoors, attracting more people into the town centre, and make it a more liveable town centre, providing open space for the growing town centre population. The Park will increase dwell time and contribute to improving air quality, tree cover, recreational opportunities, and health.

In next week’s cabinet meeting, officers will seek to move forward on the process and ask members to approve the scope of the project, the progression with the designs based on the preferred option, and the resources needed for the project. Cabinet will also be asked to approve the potential relocation of services from the Customer Service Centre.

Dewsbury Town Park is key to the work supporting the ‘Greener town’ aspect of the Dewsbury Blueprint. The project aims to introduce more green space, making the most of the town’s heritage assets, by improving and extending the public realm, making it a more attractive and pleasant place to spend time.

The Dewsbury Blueprint a ten-year programme of economic and infrastructure improvements for the town. Dewsbury sits at the heart of the North Kirklees Growth Zone, a long-term regeneration programme that will promote transformational change in the town.

The cabinet meeting follows the public consultation which ran in June 2021. Members of the public viewed different designs of the park and had face to face opportunities with project officers to find out more about the project and take part in a survey. Many people who took part in the survey preferred the open feel of the circular design and felt the style was more pleasing. Design B which included the site of the current Customer Service Centre was ranked as the most preferred design.

If approved by cabinet, designers will progress detailed designs and there will be a further opportunity for the public to comment on the proposals in 2022, prior to the submission of a planning application for the project.

The proposed site of the Town Park was originally the Lancashire and Yorkshire company closed for passengers in 1930 and a was a railway goods yard in 1961. The design concept aims to reflect this with the theme of railways and ideas about the circulation, connection and movement of people through space. For the design option chosen (option B), the emphasis is on curves and flow.

Councillor Eric Firth, Cabinet Member for Town Centres, said:

“Town centres are going to look and feel different in the future. These plans will create a place where people want to spend time and enjoy leisure and cultural activities. It’s a plan that respects our proud heritage while having a firm eye on the future, with the design encompassing elements of the old rail yard”

The Greener Town project is in tune with the economic changes that are happening across the country and by introducing more green space, making the most of the town’s heritage assets, and improving and extending the public realm, will make Dewsbury Town Centre a more attractive, pleasant and safe place to spend time.