A businessman with a long-established stone yard in Bradford is facing opposition from residents complaining of noise and dust after making a retrospective planning application for the firm to operate from premises it has occupied for years.

A K Stratford has expanded within Friars Industrial Estate, off Bradford Road, Idle, and businessman Kurt Stratford has made a retrospective planning application to Bradford Council to cover activities at part of the site.

But some residents in the area are unhappy with the situation and last night held a demonstration outside the premises, carrying placards and wielding feather dusters to make their point.

Their claims have put them into conflict with Mr Stratford, who claims that dust is generated elsewhere in the area.

Eccleshill ward Coun Geoff Reid attended the demonstration and accepted there was a conflict of interest: “It is the environment of the street versus the business.

“It is a valuable contribution to the local economy but it is about where and when it happens. The committee will make a judgement on that.”

Planning permission would “legitimise” the use of the site, if it was approved, he said.

Mr Stratford said he had been operating at the site for 20 years and had only had one previous complaint and said he was “very conscientious” about his neighbours.

If dust from his business was excessive, others on the site would be unable to work, he said. Dust was generated from elsewhere, he said.

A series of objections have been filed for consideration by the Regulatory and Appeals Committee which will consider the application.

An acoustic report has also been compiled and that found noise from dressing and stacking stone would have a “detrimental effect” on the closest neighbours.

It also found a stone wall created on part of the site was effective in blocking noise, with the suggestion that a mobile acoustic screen should also be used, alongside other soundproofing work.

The Environment Agency has also suggested that special drainage measures should be used to prevent pollution entering the water system.

Mr Stratford said: “I have had to enlist a planning consultant and it has cost me thousands of pounds. This has been going on since July or August last year.”

The planning application is for a change of use to stone dealer/masons yard.

One former neighbour, Chris Nicholson, said the business had never caused him problems while he was living nearby for more than four years.