People 'riding roughshod' over planning rules'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Coun Howard Middleton Coun Howard Middleton

People are being allowed to ride roughshod over planning rules in the Bradford district, a senior councillor has warned.

Councillor Howard Middleton, who sits on the Bradford Area Planning Panel, said all too often the Council was turning a blind eye to planning breaches, and that this was having a “corrosive” effect on public faith in the system.

He spoke out after a planning meeting yesterday, where nearly half of the applications on the agenda were being made retrospectively.

After the meeting, Councillor Middleton (Lib Dem, Bolton and Undercliffe), said: “We are not as strict in terms of enforcement as other areas like Leeds or Craven.”

He said time and time again, people were building what they liked, then applying for retrospective permission if they ran into trouble.

He said: “It is corrosive. It almost means people don’t feel like following the rules because there is no reason to do so.”

But Councillor Val Slater (Lab), executive member for planning, disagreed. She said Bradford planning department’s performance was rated in the country’s top quartile.

She said: “The reason there will be so many retrospective planning applications is because people doing things without permission have been picked up – that is the first stage of enforcement.”

Last year, the Telegraph & Argus exclusively revealed that planning enforcement officers were taking action against fewer breaches, despite a rise in complaints.

They received 1,349 complaints about possible breaches of planning rules in 2012/13, but served just 82 enforcement notices.

Coun Slater said budget cuts had affected what they could do.

She said: “The number of cases we have coming through has risen, but we do have fewer staff. That is one of the results of the swingeing cuts that have come through from government, and we do have to prioritise what we can enforce.”

At the meeting yesterday, the panel was considering a retrospective application in Ransdale Road, Little Horton, Bradford, which prompted Coun Middleton to speak out.

The application was to turn a barber’s shop into a grocery shop and butcher’s, which had already happened, and at the same time legitimise some unauthorised security shutters. While the change of use wasn’t posing a problem, the panel were not happy with the shutters.

Comments (20)

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10:25am Thu 29 May 14

Albion. says...

ALL retrospective planning applications should be refused! Time and time again we read of people getting planning permission granted after going years sometimes without bothering, often the same people repeat the offence. By allowing this the council are contributing to the breakdown of a law abiding and fair society.
ALL retrospective planning applications should be refused! Time and time again we read of people getting planning permission granted after going years sometimes without bothering, often the same people repeat the offence. By allowing this the council are contributing to the breakdown of a law abiding and fair society. Albion.
  • Score: 29

10:36am Thu 29 May 14

idleman22 says...

Well said. The 'good people' agonise going through proper process, with time and cost and others just do what they want and often get away with it. It is symptomatic of the rise in people believing they are above the rules and the law and zero tolerance is the only way to deal with this.
Well said. The 'good people' agonise going through proper process, with time and cost and others just do what they want and often get away with it. It is symptomatic of the rise in people believing they are above the rules and the law and zero tolerance is the only way to deal with this. idleman22
  • Score: 20

10:47am Thu 29 May 14

Duke of Odsal says...

It is my understanding that it is technically an offence to commence works without planning approval, and I think many would support a change in approach whereby retrospective applications were banned and the property returned to its original state before an application would be considered. As councillor Slater points out, there is a lack of resource to manage the level of applications, so it makes sense to rigidly enforce the rules and simply refuse to consider a retrospective application. In addition, perhaps the fee for application should more closely reflect the cost of administering and considering that application, so that those applying are fully funding the planning process fully.
It is my understanding that it is technically an offence to commence works without planning approval, and I think many would support a change in approach whereby retrospective applications were banned and the property returned to its original state before an application would be considered. As councillor Slater points out, there is a lack of resource to manage the level of applications, so it makes sense to rigidly enforce the rules and simply refuse to consider a retrospective application. In addition, perhaps the fee for application should more closely reflect the cost of administering and considering that application, so that those applying are fully funding the planning process fully. Duke of Odsal
  • Score: 16

12:39pm Thu 29 May 14

BaildonGuy says...

Retrospective applications are a sign of a weak Council and a lack of respect for the law. However the Council have brought this situation on themselves by failing to present a good example. For instance both Westfield and Buck Lane, -- Council flagship projects --, have been subjects of retrospective applications. Needless to say they both got passed.
Retrospective applications are a sign of a weak Council and a lack of respect for the law. However the Council have brought this situation on themselves by failing to present a good example. For instance both Westfield and Buck Lane, -- Council flagship projects --, have been subjects of retrospective applications. Needless to say they both got passed. BaildonGuy
  • Score: 28

12:46pm Thu 29 May 14

pcmanners says...

Reality50 wrote:
The Muslim community are the worst for t. Retrospective planning permission is a way of life to some of them.
Agree. Socialist Councils have no respect for the law. In Bradford Labour depends on the Asian vote, so it means they can do what they like. Look at all the illegal bazaars and smoking lounges that the Council does nothing about.
[quote][p][bold]Reality50[/bold] wrote: The Muslim community are the worst for t. Retrospective planning permission is a way of life to some of them.[/p][/quote]Agree. Socialist Councils have no respect for the law. In Bradford Labour depends on the Asian vote, so it means they can do what they like. Look at all the illegal bazaars and smoking lounges that the Council does nothing about. pcmanners
  • Score: 48

12:51pm Thu 29 May 14

bluebluerobin says...

This is further proof, if it were ever needed, that planning decisions should be taken away from under performing local authorities and done centrally by Government. It is the only way to ensure consistency.

The Government in its National Planning Policy Framework has swept away much of the old bureaucracy associated with planning but clearly the message has not been understood in Bradford. Ordinary people are persecuted whilst illegal commercial enterprises are allowed to flourish. BMDC Planning is disorganised and far too fond of granting retrospective planing permissions either to lazy builders, or itself, as we saw with the Westfield spoil tip and Buck Lane.
This is further proof, if it were ever needed, that planning decisions should be taken away from under performing local authorities and done centrally by Government. It is the only way to ensure consistency. The Government in its National Planning Policy Framework has swept away much of the old bureaucracy associated with planning but clearly the message has not been understood in Bradford. Ordinary people are persecuted whilst illegal commercial enterprises are allowed to flourish. BMDC Planning is disorganised and far too fond of granting retrospective planing permissions either to lazy builders, or itself, as we saw with the Westfield spoil tip and Buck Lane. bluebluerobin
  • Score: 16

12:59pm Thu 29 May 14

Victor Clayton says...

They corrupt everything they touch for their own selfishness.
They corrupt everything they touch for their own selfishness. Victor Clayton
  • Score: 20

1:59pm Thu 29 May 14

basil fawlty says...

Has anybody seen the hideous extension built across the front of the former Hare and Hounds pub on Idle Road? It surely cannot have got planning permission as it has totally detroyed the front elevation of this nice ild building. If this has got the thumbs up then all I can say is that the authorising person in the Planning Department is either wreckless or totally incompetent.
Has anybody seen the hideous extension built across the front of the former Hare and Hounds pub on Idle Road? It surely cannot have got planning permission as it has totally detroyed the front elevation of this nice ild building. If this has got the thumbs up then all I can say is that the authorising person in the Planning Department is either wreckless or totally incompetent. basil fawlty
  • Score: 16

2:02pm Thu 29 May 14

Bantambhoy says...

I wonder if the rebuild on Toller Grove in Heaton ( where nothing has happened for 4months now) is subject to a 'retro planning' application? A house has been completely replaced to twice its size and extends out in front of the existing building line. Rumour is that it only had permission for dormers in the roof.
I wonder if the rebuild on Toller Grove in Heaton ( where nothing has happened for 4months now) is subject to a 'retro planning' application? A house has been completely replaced to twice its size and extends out in front of the existing building line. Rumour is that it only had permission for dormers in the roof. Bantambhoy
  • Score: 15

3:21pm Thu 29 May 14

Freddy Elliot says...

basil fawlty wrote:
Has anybody seen the hideous extension built across the front of the former Hare and Hounds pub on Idle Road? It surely cannot have got planning permission as it has totally detroyed the front elevation of this nice ild building. If this has got the thumbs up then all I can say is that the authorising person in the Planning Department is either wreckless or totally incompetent.
Or one of 'them'. Yes it looks a right dog now.
[quote][p][bold]basil fawlty[/bold] wrote: Has anybody seen the hideous extension built across the front of the former Hare and Hounds pub on Idle Road? It surely cannot have got planning permission as it has totally detroyed the front elevation of this nice ild building. If this has got the thumbs up then all I can say is that the authorising person in the Planning Department is either wreckless or totally incompetent.[/p][/quote]Or one of 'them'. Yes it looks a right dog now. Freddy Elliot
  • Score: 9

3:57pm Thu 29 May 14

BertSanders says...

An election on May 22 - comment 5 days later - " a friend has been elected to the council and I can pull strings". Is that the way Bradford is run - I cannot believe it, but maybe. Everybody should be required to follow the rules - but they do not and most get away with it. I complained of a wall 9' high - it was permitted even though 2 meters is the rule.instituted at the time from the office of John Prescott.
An election on May 22 - comment 5 days later - " a friend has been elected to the council and I can pull strings". Is that the way Bradford is run - I cannot believe it, but maybe. Everybody should be required to follow the rules - but they do not and most get away with it. I complained of a wall 9' high - it was permitted even though 2 meters is the rule.instituted at the time from the office of John Prescott. BertSanders
  • Score: 11

3:59pm Thu 29 May 14

Makollig Jezvahted says...

You can almost hear the tick tick tick of the timebomb on this comment section - have you lot learned nothing? How dare you disagree or point out any deficiencies with the council on its sponsored propaganda machine AKA the T&A? Now repeat after me - Everything in Bradford is great, the council is competent and in it only for our good, there are no double standards whatsoever in the application of law/rules and by this time next year, Bradford will be so prosperous we'll all have a 100ft fountain in our gardens.
You can almost hear the tick tick tick of the timebomb on this comment section - have you lot learned nothing? How dare you disagree or point out any deficiencies with the council on its sponsored propaganda machine AKA the T&A? Now repeat after me - Everything in Bradford is great, the council is competent and in it only for our good, there are no double standards whatsoever in the application of law/rules and by this time next year, Bradford will be so prosperous we'll all have a 100ft fountain in our gardens. Makollig Jezvahted
  • Score: 12

5:38pm Thu 29 May 14

Mambo55 says...

bluebluerobin wrote:
This is further proof, if it were ever needed, that planning decisions should be taken away from under performing local authorities and done centrally by Government. It is the only way to ensure consistency.

The Government in its National Planning Policy Framework has swept away much of the old bureaucracy associated with planning but clearly the message has not been understood in Bradford. Ordinary people are persecuted whilst illegal commercial enterprises are allowed to flourish. BMDC Planning is disorganised and far too fond of granting retrospective planing permissions either to lazy builders, or itself, as we saw with the Westfield spoil tip and Buck Lane.
The NPPF mad made no difference to the red tape in the planning system. Local councils have such little power regarding planning. They have so little authority to judge an application in relation to local needs, that's despite this government claiming to support the idea of putting power in the community.

Bradford, Leeds and wakefield all have issues with empty flats yet the government has stripped councils of the ability to even consider the Change of use of offices to flats. They do this as they are technically creating homes (which we need) the problem is that these are the wrong homes, but of course the statistics won't show this.

Also I would be surprised if a significant amount of the enforcement work is not aimed at housing developers flouting conditions on their new build estates.

The enforcement process is also full of red tape, if things are not done properly then the council will be liable for costs (from both sides).

The process is broken this government (and the last) were to scared of the big house builders to act - until they do the process will always favour the few.
[quote][p][bold]bluebluerobin[/bold] wrote: This is further proof, if it were ever needed, that planning decisions should be taken away from under performing local authorities and done centrally by Government. It is the only way to ensure consistency. The Government in its National Planning Policy Framework has swept away much of the old bureaucracy associated with planning but clearly the message has not been understood in Bradford. Ordinary people are persecuted whilst illegal commercial enterprises are allowed to flourish. BMDC Planning is disorganised and far too fond of granting retrospective planing permissions either to lazy builders, or itself, as we saw with the Westfield spoil tip and Buck Lane.[/p][/quote]The NPPF mad made no difference to the red tape in the planning system. Local councils have such little power regarding planning. They have so little authority to judge an application in relation to local needs, that's despite this government claiming to support the idea of putting power in the community. Bradford, Leeds and wakefield all have issues with empty flats yet the government has stripped councils of the ability to even consider the Change of use of offices to flats. They do this as they are technically creating homes (which we need) the problem is that these are the wrong homes, but of course the statistics won't show this. Also I would be surprised if a significant amount of the enforcement work is not aimed at housing developers flouting conditions on their new build estates. The enforcement process is also full of red tape, if things are not done properly then the council will be liable for costs (from both sides). The process is broken this government (and the last) were to scared of the big house builders to act - until they do the process will always favour the few. Mambo55
  • Score: -2

6:45pm Thu 29 May 14

jackw says...

There was a garage application near me and you could tell instantly it wasn't a garage but I was told it had passed. As the roof went on the garage door opening was bricked up, on complaning I was told a new application had been submitted for granny annexe even though it was detached. I was told it had passed subject to not been separated from the main house. Another application was submitted to detach the garage from the house and after an amendment was passed. So they worked the system no doubt with help on how to get a detached bungalow in the front of there garden.
As for councillor Slater id rather have a chocolate fire guard
There was a garage application near me and you could tell instantly it wasn't a garage but I was told it had passed. As the roof went on the garage door opening was bricked up, on complaning I was told a new application had been submitted for granny annexe even though it was detached. I was told it had passed subject to not been separated from the main house. Another application was submitted to detach the garage from the house and after an amendment was passed. So they worked the system no doubt with help on how to get a detached bungalow in the front of there garden. As for councillor Slater id rather have a chocolate fire guard jackw
  • Score: 5

7:22pm Thu 29 May 14

alive and awake says...

The Rev Flowers used to be involved in planning. Does anyone think any of his decisions should now be under investigation?
The Rev Flowers used to be involved in planning. Does anyone think any of his decisions should now be under investigation? alive and awake
  • Score: 3

7:53pm Thu 29 May 14

monobrow man says...

What happened with the whittakers site in Denholme. More shops seem to be opening but that was done illegally
What happened with the whittakers site in Denholme. More shops seem to be opening but that was done illegally monobrow man
  • Score: 0

9:27pm Thu 29 May 14

Victor Clayton says...

Robin of Loxley wrote:
Victor Clayton wrote :

So what percentage of Pakistani fathers would be happy if their daughter brought a new boyfriend home, nice lad but happened to be black? I think 95 percent of white fathers would be ok?


Yeah, sure they will...
Got ya.
[quote][p][bold]Robin of Loxley[/bold] wrote: Victor Clayton wrote : [quote]So what percentage of Pakistani fathers would be happy if their daughter brought a new boyfriend home, nice lad but happened to be black? I think 95 percent of white fathers would be ok?[/quote] Yeah, sure they will...[/p][/quote]Got ya. Victor Clayton
  • Score: 3

5:42pm Fri 30 May 14

Born on the 5th December says...

say_it_as_it_is wrote:
Born on the 5th December wrote:
Born on the 5th December wrote:
Reality50 wrote: The Muslim community are the worst for t. Retrospective planning permission is a way of life to some of them.
I think you mean the Mirpuri people (nearly all so called 'Pakistani' people in Bradford are from a town called Mirpur in Kashmir which I believe is now independent from Pakistan). Either way what I am trying to say is it is not Muslim people who break planning rules it is the people from this chavvy district in Kashmir who do - how do I know this - my family originate from this horrible district in Kashmir and why I have reported my first planning breach to the council and they had better do something about it because I too am sick of these people thinking they are above the law.
I also meant to say they just happen to be Muslim so you shouldn't tar all Muslims with the same brush - if the Turkish people who are also Muslim lived here you would be laughing - they are very clean decent people - just like a lot of Arabs - it is just the Mirpuri people who bring chaos and litter everywhere they go. Just like the English have their own chavs on benefits living in dirty neighbourhoods, us Muslims have ours - these people just like scrounging off the government, dodging taxes (whilst obviously making full use of all services and more) and squirrel away the money to move from smaller houses they have wrecked to bigger houses with gardens ripe for littering and destroying - please don't tar other Pakistanis and certainly not Muslims - it is just some losers from my homeland who behave like this - I apologise to all of Bradford on their behalf! They are not the only Muslims in the world - I wouldn't judge all English people based on the types you see on Benefits Street!
Who made you spokesman for the "Mirpuri" community, and how can you label all of them with the same brush, your obviously prejudiced against them. Kashmir is actually a very beautiful place, have you actually been there? These same Mirpuris came here and worked themselves to the bone in the textile industry, they contributed massively to the economy, most people have a very short memory. A lot of the posts just go to prove that we are living in a more racist, bigoted society, like the polls suggest. Blame everything wrong on the "immigrants" is easy, forget looking at the core of the issue, corrupt and weak.
You are talking about a bygone era - that is what the original hard working Mirpuri men were like. It was hard to fit in when there were less of us but they still made a go of it and were grateful of the opportunity to live and work in this country. Now you have all these immoral, greedy Godless scroungers with their feet under the table who do whatever takes their fancy (and might I add reproducing at an alarming rate) like it is their God-given right to be here and they harp on about being British (half the younger generation born here still can't speak English properly - not without a heavy accent anyway) when we all know that a vote here and there for UKIP and everyone will be on the boat back to wherever they came from.You are just defending the actions of your own community whether they are right or wrong. I don't have any loyalty to those kinds of Mirpuris because they give a bad name to all people from Mirpur. There are so many bad eggs from Mirpur that those of us that do follow the rules are just in the background - when you are an immigrant in a country, the host nation rarely highlights the good you do, they will only seize on the bad points and use you as a scapegoat. It is up to us to ensure that we are extra careful because let's face it our punishment/shame in the court/in the media for the same crime is usually double. It is not easy to admit the truth when you are talking about your own community. Sure there are plenty of good Mirpuris out there but we all know in this day and age you will be judged by the behaviour of the majority/more prominent members of your community and you don't have to go further than t6 miles from the city centre to see what chaos they have created. What was once a very affluent and beautiful city has had its heart (and let us not forget the trees and gardens) ripped out - you go into Saltaire and Wilsden and you can see what a difference a different demographic can make. So yes - I will be a spokesperson for all law abiding Mirpuris out there - because law abiding they may be but like you they just bury the problems of their community. I only have loyalty to my religion which tells me to be honest, clean and tidy and follow the rules (unless haram) of the land that I am living in - so you can carry on defending these people and living in chaos, filth and squalor - there is no defending how some of these people live. Thank God I am moving to Gloucestershire in a few months for the next 2 years but if I ever come back - I will be moving to the outskirts where people don't pave over their gardens to create car parks and dump all the rubbish on the road.
[quote][p][bold]say_it_as_it_is[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Born on the 5th December[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Born on the 5th December[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Reality50[/bold] wrote: The Muslim community are the worst for t. Retrospective planning permission is a way of life to some of them.[/p][/quote]I think you mean the Mirpuri people (nearly all so called 'Pakistani' people in Bradford are from a town called Mirpur in Kashmir which I believe is now independent from Pakistan). Either way what I am trying to say is it is not Muslim people who break planning rules it is the people from this chavvy district in Kashmir who do - how do I know this - my family originate from this horrible district in Kashmir and why I have reported my first planning breach to the council and they had better do something about it because I too am sick of these people thinking they are above the law.[/p][/quote]I also meant to say they just happen to be Muslim so you shouldn't tar all Muslims with the same brush - if the Turkish people who are also Muslim lived here you would be laughing - they are very clean decent people - just like a lot of Arabs - it is just the Mirpuri people who bring chaos and litter everywhere they go. Just like the English have their own chavs on benefits living in dirty neighbourhoods, us Muslims have ours - these people just like scrounging off the government, dodging taxes (whilst obviously making full use of all services and more) and squirrel away the money to move from smaller houses they have wrecked to bigger houses with gardens ripe for littering and destroying - please don't tar other Pakistanis and certainly not Muslims - it is just some losers from my homeland who behave like this - I apologise to all of Bradford on their behalf! They are not the only Muslims in the world - I wouldn't judge all English people based on the types you see on Benefits Street![/p][/quote]Who made you spokesman for the "Mirpuri" community, and how can you label all of them with the same brush, your obviously prejudiced against them. Kashmir is actually a very beautiful place, have you actually been there? These same Mirpuris came here and worked themselves to the bone in the textile industry, they contributed massively to the economy, most people have a very short memory. A lot of the posts just go to prove that we are living in a more racist, bigoted society, like the polls suggest. Blame everything wrong on the "immigrants" is easy, forget looking at the core of the issue, corrupt and weak.[/p][/quote]You are talking about a bygone era - that is what the original hard working Mirpuri men were like. It was hard to fit in when there were less of us but they still made a go of it and were grateful of the opportunity to live and work in this country. Now you have all these immoral, greedy Godless scroungers with their feet under the table who do whatever takes their fancy (and might I add reproducing at an alarming rate) like it is their God-given right to be here and they harp on about being British (half the younger generation born here still can't speak English properly - not without a heavy accent anyway) when we all know that a vote here and there for UKIP and everyone will be on the boat back to wherever they came from.You are just defending the actions of your own community whether they are right or wrong. I don't have any loyalty to those kinds of Mirpuris because they give a bad name to all people from Mirpur. There are so many bad eggs from Mirpur that those of us that do follow the rules are just in the background - when you are an immigrant in a country, the host nation rarely highlights the good you do, they will only seize on the bad points and use you as a scapegoat. It is up to us to ensure that we are extra careful because let's face it our punishment/shame in the court/in the media for the same crime is usually double. It is not easy to admit the truth when you are talking about your own community. Sure there are plenty of good Mirpuris out there but we all know in this day and age you will be judged by the behaviour of the majority/more prominent members of your community and you don't have to go further than t6 miles from the city centre to see what chaos they have created. What was once a very affluent and beautiful city has had its heart (and let us not forget the trees and gardens) ripped out - you go into Saltaire and Wilsden and you can see what a difference a different demographic can make. So yes - I will be a spokesperson for all law abiding Mirpuris out there - because law abiding they may be but like you they just bury the problems of their community. I only have loyalty to my religion which tells me to be honest, clean and tidy and follow the rules (unless haram) of the land that I am living in - so you can carry on defending these people and living in chaos, filth and squalor - there is no defending how some of these people live. Thank God I am moving to Gloucestershire in a few months for the next 2 years but if I ever come back - I will be moving to the outskirts where people don't pave over their gardens to create car parks and dump all the rubbish on the road. Born on the 5th December
  • Score: 1

5:46pm Fri 30 May 14

Born on the 5th December says...

pcmanners wrote:
Reality50 wrote: The Muslim community are the worst for t. Retrospective planning permission is a way of life to some of them.
Agree. Socialist Councils have no respect for the law. In Bradford Labour depends on the Asian vote, so it means they can do what they like. Look at all the illegal bazaars and smoking lounges that the Council does nothing about.
Not true - the Council staff work hard to enforce these but are prevented at every turn by red tape. The £90,000 fine for Tradex was clearly not enough - otherwise he wouldn't have gone on to blight the former Morrisons in Idle.
[quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Reality50[/bold] wrote: The Muslim community are the worst for t. Retrospective planning permission is a way of life to some of them.[/p][/quote]Agree. Socialist Councils have no respect for the law. In Bradford Labour depends on the Asian vote, so it means they can do what they like. Look at all the illegal bazaars and smoking lounges that the Council does nothing about.[/p][/quote]Not true - the Council staff work hard to enforce these but are prevented at every turn by red tape. The £90,000 fine for Tradex was clearly not enough - otherwise he wouldn't have gone on to blight the former Morrisons in Idle. Born on the 5th December
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Fri 30 May 14

mapreader says...

Its not so much "red tape" but a lack of understanding of the law. Also relating to Tradex This goes a long way to high lighting the problem
"The Council had imposed the notice, the first it had issued in 20 years"
Its not so much "red tape" but a lack of understanding of the law. Also relating to Tradex This goes a long way to high lighting the problem "The Council had imposed the notice, the first it had issued in 20 years" mapreader
  • Score: -1

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