Plans to keep an Asian bazaar in Lidget Green open until midnight in the run up to Eid and Ramadan have been blocked because of the noise and disturbance it would cause neighbours.
Jasvinder Singh, owner of the Bradford Bazaar on Cemetery Road, wanted late-night openings in the days leading up to the two biggest Muslim holy festivals.
Last year he submitted a planning application to extend the opening hours of the bazaar, a former warehouse, to open until midnight on Eid al Fitre, (Eid) and Eid al Adha (Ramadan). He said the late openings were needed because shopping is considered “inappropriate” on the holy days themselves, and compared it to shops opening late in the run up to Christmas.
The application had attracted numerous objections from neighbours who claimed late-night noise would disrupt their evenings, extra traffic would clog up local roads and the late opening would cause anti social behaviour.
One objector even asked: “Why is Bradford Council so sympathetic to the owner of Bradford Bazaar?”
The bazaar is currently open from 9am to 8pm on Monday to Saturday and 10am to 6pm on Sundays and bank holidays. The company’s application said: “Recent experience of Eid-al-Adha highlighted the celebration of this religious festival with public demand for Asian clothing and accessories comparable to that of Christmas shopping.
“This retail demand is concentrated over two days as it is considered to be inappropriate to take place during Ramadan itself.”
Planning officer Mark Hutchinson said the late-night opening would cause too many problems for him to agree to the change in opening hours, even if it was just for four days a year.
He said: “The applicant’s recent experience of religious festivals is that they generate public demand for Asian clothing, accessories and traditional hand painting. However the bazaar is not the only outlet to meet such culturally related retail demand, other retail centres in the district can meet the demand, so customers for such goods are catered for.”
He refused the application, saying: “The proposed hours of use would be detrimental to the amenities of neighbouring residents by reason of noise and general disturbance chiefly associated with customers leaving the site, particularly late at night or other unsociable hours.”