An unauthorised market which has been ordered by Bradford Council to stop trading or face prosecution is continuing to operate more than two weeks after the deadline expired.
Tradex Bazaar, at the former Shires Bathroom site in Beckside Road, was issued with stop notices and planning enforcement notices requiring trading to cease from the site no later than Monday, July 9.
But manager Khalid Saeed yesterday confirmed they were still operating as they did not believe the notices applied to them given they were not technically a market.
He told the Telegraph & Argus: “We are continuing to trade. We don’t feel that we are in breach of the stop notice as it states that trading as an indoor market should stop. We have said all along that we are not an indoor market as we are only open to our members, not the wider public.”
He said the hundreds of traders were concerned as they had been given little notice and little help by the Council over the issue.
Some traders protested outside City Hall and handed in a petition to appeal for more time to sort out their businesses and relocate.
Mr Saeed said they were still in the process of preparing an appeal after a change of use application to allow the site to be used for retail was refused by Council planners in May.
Tradex opened in August last year operating four days a week, with more than 250 stalls selling predominantly Asian goods. But it has been trading without the correct planning permission and without a markets licence from the Council.
A spokesman for the authority said the Council was considering taking further legal action against Tradex.
A further market, The Bazaar in Drummonds Mill, Lumb Lane, was also served with the notices at the beginning of the month, but has complied.
Hassan Ali, general manager, said they had previously operated out of premises on Cemetery Road with a licence, but their lease had expired so they relocated to the mill in March.
He added that the planning process had taken longer than anticipated and they had already taken the decision to close on July 10 before the stop notice was served.
He said: “We are definitely looking to stay in Bradford so are now looking for new premises and want to get planning permission and a licence in place first.”
Some traders from The Bazaar are now thought to have relocated to Tradex Bazaar instead.