Extension plans at a Keighley hairdressers have been approved – despite objections from residents who claimed it could become a magnet for “intimidating young men.”

A barber’s shop on the corner of Skipton Road and Gale Street wants to spread onto a neighbouring yard and build a new glass-fronted salon.

And the application before Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel yesterday was recommended for approval, despite opposition from neighbours who claimed the shop would become a night-time haunt for undesirable men.

The first of ten anonymous objections said loitering was already an issue and stated: “The proposal will encourage more young men to congregate outside the premises intimidating passers-by, local residents and schoolchildren. This will also lead to more litter, particularly in the form of discarded cigarettes and alcohol bottles, which poses a threat to young children living in the area.”

Other arguments against the development claimed proposed opening from 8am until 10pm would lead to further anti-social problems.

The report noted: “The presence of groups of young men will lead to noise pollution and disturbance of the residents’ evenings and sleep.”

Shop owner Hameed Islam (above) said he was delighted with the result.

He said: “Youths do come along with a friend who is having a haircut and have sometimes stood outside, but now we will have a modern, bigger and up-to-date shop which will solve that and tidy it all up. There was never a serious problem.”

It was also alleged that during the festivals of Eid the business already operates as late as 4am.

But Bradford Council planning officers found there was no reason to refuse permission for the extension and noted: “The objection letters suggest that young men already congregate outside the premises and the fear is that if they are made larger these premises will become a more regularly used ‘hang-out’”.

“However the congregation of youths outside the premises appears to be an existing problem and is for other agencies to address rather than the local planning authority.”

The report said it was unclear why such a situation existed and it could not be demonstrated that “the modest increase in the size of the premises would worsen the problem.”

The report to councillors concluded that the extended premises would “not have a detrimental impact on the vitality of Keighley town centre” or an impact on the amenity of neighbours.