Businessman behind Bradford bazaar plan was boss of illegal indoor market (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Businessman behind Bradford bazaar plan was boss of illegal indoor market
6:00am Saturday 31st August 2013 in News
The businessman behind plans for a controversial Asian bazaar in a former Morrisons store is the former boss of the illegal Tradex indoor market, the Telegraph & Argus can reveal.
It has emerged that Mohammed Saeed is the applicant wishing to start a fashion and fancy goods market with 50 stalls in the old supermarket building on Idle Road, Bolton – which has just been approved by Bradford Council officers.
He was convicted of contravening a Stop Notice issued by Bradford Council against his Tradex business at Beckside Business Park in Beckside Road, Lidget Green, and billed for almost £90,000 in fines and costs only four months ago at the city’s crown court.
Judge John Potter told Mr Saeed and his son Khalid, who were jointly convicted, they had shown “blind disregard” for trading rules.
Now presenting himself as a director of DP Franchising Ltd, Mr Saeed, 55, has struggled to find sufficient parking for his new venture.
Earlier this week, it seemed he had found the answer when the Council’s market manager, Colin Wolstenholme, said the bazaar could go ahead due to a park and ride scheme for traders to be run from East Ward Labour Club, in Otley Road. But that has now been scuppered by the club itself.
“We’ve not entered into any formal agreement with Mr Saeed regarding allowing traders to park at our club,” a spokesman said.
“Mr Saeed approached us asking for a deal and encouraged a committee member to draft a dummy contract which was undated. It was made clear to him that any decision on leasing parking space would have to be ratified by the club’s committee and indeed Mr Saeed produced his own form of contract to be discussed by the committee,” he said.
That incompleted document has been seen by the Telegraph & Argus along with the draft document.
“But at some point, the undated draft document, which had been inadvertently signed, was then presented to Bradford Council as proof of an agreement, which simply was not the case,” the spokesman said.
“The Council made no approach to the club to check if it was a genuine contractual agreement, which is surprising to say the least,” he added Prior to this, Council officers accepted an earlier statement from Mr Saeed that he had agreed additional parking with the nearby Swing Gate pub. The pub denied any such agreement.
Now Lib Dem councillor Jeanette Sunderland has written to Mr Wolstenholme and Bradford’s chief executive Tony Reeves demanding an explanation of events.
“This whole thing should be stopped immediately until the Council officers can actually get to the bottom of what is going on,” she said. “The Council has a responsibility to taxpayers to be completely open about this and particularly owes it to the people who live near the proposed bazaar and have a right to a quiet life with no loss of amenity.”
But Bradford Council said it was now East Ward Labour Club’s responsibility to sort the matter out.
A spokesman said: “We have a letter on file that was sent from the East Ward Labour Club to the applicant which agreed that Mr Saeed was allowed to use 50 car parking spaces within their car park. This letter was provided as part of Mr Saeed’s application for a market licence for the former QLM building on Idle Road.
“If the East Ward Labour Club is not now happy with the proposal then they need to inform the applicant who in turn will need to let us know so we can reassess the application.”
A spokesman for Mr Saeed, 55, said he wished to make no comment.