The growing late-night economy along one of the main roads into Bradford is an issue that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later, according to residents and councillors.
People on the busy Great Horton Road have been calling on Bradford Council to act on the growing number of takeaways and cafes with licenses to stay open until the early hours.
They say the fact that the area is fast becoming a popular nightspot is leading to anti-social behaviour, dangerous driving, illegal parking and increased litter. Coun Ruqayyah Collector (Bradford Independent Group, City) has asked Council leader David Green whether the authority has set up a proper strategy to deal with the late night economy. He replied by saying police, the Council and the neighbourhood services was working on a “range of issues to start to address some of the anti social problems in the area.”
He said forum meetings would continue to review action being taken, and the Council was working on a “co-ordinated approach” between planning, transport and highways officers to look at future developments. The authority is also working on a supplementary planning document to deal with future applications for food outlets.
Coun Nazam Azam (Labour, City) said: “We have to balance things between the businesses and residents, but that balance has never been in place.
“Businesses open but the infrastructure is not in place. We need a plan for the area, something we can look at as a Council. The residents were here first, and they have to deal with all the anti-social elements businesses attract. I am not against the businesses, but something needs to be done to help the balance and make sure the infrastructure is there for new businesses. My priority is the residents.”
Najib Khan, of the Shearbridge Residents’ Association, said there was no sign of the night-time economy slowing down, and that proposed developments, including a £10 million new Bradford College building planned for a car park, would only make traffic in the area worse. He said: “We need something done soon. We are not willing to wait forever for something to be done. This is down to the Council approving a lot of planning and licensing applications without looking at the bigger picture. If the Council takes too long to come up with a plan for the area we could have even more approvals for takeaways in the mean time.”
Councillor Arshad Hussain (Lab), chairman of Bradford West Area Committee, said: “All the different agencies are working together to resolve the issues on Great Horton Road. It will take a bit of time but I’m sure we will get there.”