Enforcement action on businesses that fail to improve the appearance of listed shop fronts
We will take enforcement action on businesses that fail to improve the appearance of their shop fronts in Huddersfield Town Centre’s Conservation Area.
What does the scheme focus on?
Earlier this year we announced a £1.2 million scheme to improve the appearance of shop fronts in Huddersfield Town Centre. It focusses on properties that have modern shop fronts which do not have planning permission or consent for the signage.
Will grants be offered to traders?
Grants of up to 80 per cent of the total costs of refurbishment, replacement shop fronts and the conversion of upper floors to new uses have been offered to traders in the Huddersfield Town Centre Conservation Area; John William Street, Westgate and Northumberland Street.
Buildings in this particular area of Huddersfield Town Centre are listed and we, as well as those occupying the buildings, have a duty to ensure heritage is protected.
What will happen if businesses fail to comply?
Businesses who fail to work with us and make these changes will be contacted by Enforcement Officers to progress enforcement options.
This may result in an enforcement notice/and or a discontinuance notice requiring businesses to make the alterations to the shop front and/or remove signage at the business owner’s cost.
Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:
“The council is committed to improvements to the town centre; we’re making a £1.2million investment to help strengthen our local economy and improve the look of the town. If businesses cannot work with us to make the necessary changes and comply with planning laws and regulations then we must consider alternative action to bring around the improvements.
John William Street is a key route into the town. It has many listed buildings and over time has been subject to a lot of property changes which have negatively impacted on the appearance of the street.
Research has shown that more traditional-looking shop frontages improve the shopping experience and are more likely to increase footfall and spending.
A number of these shop fronts have also been erected without planning permission which is an offence. But we don’t want to punish our business owners, we want to work with them to improve the shopping experience for visitors and increase footfall.”
Why was the scheme introduced?
The scheme was introduced after an inspection found the appearance of some shop fronts were having a negative impact on business.