A RETROSPECTIVE plan for a controversial Manningham Lane wedding venue has been refused for a THIRD time.

Councillors flew in the face of the recommendation to give the application the green light, raising concerns over parking facilities.

The Pearl Banqueting Suite has been operating as a wedding and function venue without planning permission since 2014.

Last year two retrospective applications to change the use of the building from a restaurant to banqueting facilities were refused by Bradford Council.

One application was refused partly over highway safety concerns, plus fears over noise and disturbance. The second application was again refused over concerns noise from people using the venue could impact on people living near the site.

The newest application, discussed at a meeting of the Bradford Area Planning Panel yesterday, by Tony Singh of Power Centre UK, said an acoustic report would help to overcome the issues that led to previous applications being refused.

A report to councillors said that as the venue will be operating mainly in the evenings and weekends, the majority of more than 500 public parking spaces, on and off street, identified in the accompanying transport statement, within a 400m radius of the site should be available.

Neither the Council’s Highways Officer or the Environmental Health Officer objected to the application.

But concerns were raised by residents over issues including parking, litter, noise from fireworks, loud music and cars, loitering and an “intimidating atmosphere”, large amounts of traffic causing “gridlock” on Manningham Lane and “chaos” when parties arrive at the same time.

Despite the recommendation to approve the application, councillors raised major concerns over parking provision.

Councillor Gerry Barker (Con, Wharfedale) said: “They talk about 500 parking spaces in the area. I would disagree with that.”

He questioned how many other people in the area would also be competing for those spaces.

“I must say, I am not in favour of this application,” he said.

Councillor Alan Wainwright (Lab, Tong) highlighted his own experience of “massive blockages and tailbacks” due to vehicles going into the venue.

While Councillor Riaz Ahmed (Lib Dem, Bradford Moor) said noise problems had been addressed by the applicant, but parking remained a concern.

He said parking spaces can pointed out “but that does not mean people are going to use it or they will be available”.

Councillors also raised concerns about the fact the venue had been operating without planning permission for a number of years, with Cllr Ahmed saying it shows a "disregard" for planning law and the Council needs to put its foot down. The panel voted to refuse the application on highways safety grounds and the impact on residential parking.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus following the meeting, Shazia Tanveer, managing director of Pearl Banqueting suite, said an appeal would be made regarding the decision and that she did not feel the councillors' reasons were “sufficient”.

She said a nearby wedding hall had been given permission and asked: “Why are we the only ones being targeted? It’s a very upsetting matter.”