Bradford restaurant Zouk may leave city after losing bid to expand

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: An image of how the new Zouk restaurant would have looked An image of how the new Zouk restaurant would have looked

A curry restaurant has threatened to move out of Bradford after a bid to extend its business was rejected over fears it would lead to traffic congestion.

Bradford Council turned down a planning application from Zouk for a new-build restaurant and cookery school at its base in Leeds Road.

Owner and chairman Peter Bashir wanted to demolish the existing eaterie and, using a derelict former pub next door, construct a new two-storey development over the two sites.

The application said the development would create jobs, help regenerate the area and provide training for local schools and colleges.

The ground floor would have a buffet dining area, bar, kitchen and car parking, while the first floor would be home to a bar and seating area, cookery school and training facilities, function room, offices and toilets.

However, the Council refused the plan because it ruled there would not be enough parking space. The refusal report referred to “greater on-street car parking to the detriment of the safe and free flow of traffic on the highway”.

Tayub Amjad, operations director at Zouk, which has restaurants in Leeds and Manchester, said: “I am pretty annoyed. There’s not much development taking place in Bradford and when someone is prepared to put their hand in their pocket, Bradford Council is not prepared to support it.

“To be honest I am looking at selling up and moving out of Bradford. We are just fed up with it. What is the point of being in a city where the Council doesn’t support businesses whatsoever..”

Mr Amjad criticised the reasons given for the refusal but he said there was unlikely to be an appeal.

He said: “We are not wasting anymore money on Bradford Council than we have already.

“This would have created more than 50 jobs, easily. We are really disheartened with the way everything has happened.”

Zouk also has a factory in Bradford that supplies food to supermarkets. Mr Amjad said the company would be looking to move that out of Bradford as well.

Bradford Council leader, Councillor David Green, said: “It is one of those issues that they could always lodge an appeal or come up with an amended plan that would deal with the parking issues and, as I understand, not incur further costs.”

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