A GOVERNMENT planning inspector has overturned a decision to refuse plans for a cafe at a busy Bradford junction.

In February an application to build a cafe on a car park at the junction of Beckside Road and Spencer Road came before Bradford Council's Bradford Planning Panel.

Although planning officers had recommended the plans be approved, members of the panel disagreed, claiming it would cause traffic problems at an already busy junction.

Members referred to highways problems around other similar businesses in the city, problems that included customers parking on double yellow lines or on pavements.

The plans were refused, and shortly after applicant Raheel Munir appealed the decision.

Since then the business, Tea Factory, has opened without planning permission.

A Government appointed planning inspector looked at the case, and they have now overturned Bradford Council's decision and granted planning permission.

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They dismissed the highways concerns, and claimed it was "unlikely" that customers would park on double yellow lines around the site.

They also said the fact that the business opened without planning permission had "limited weight" when it came to making their decision.

At February's meeting Highways officers said they had no concerns about the plans, and said the presence of double yellow lines would mean that customers would use the on site car park, and not park on the street.

But Councillor Mohammed Amran (Lab, Heaton), said: "The nuisance to residents will be massive, we see problems at other outlets like this.

"People will just park their car on Beckside Road, run in and get a coffee then run out."

But in overturning this decision, Planning inspector A M Nilsson dismissed members' concerns.

They said: ""I observed on my mid-afternoon site visit that there was a high volume of traffic using the roundabout junction. Whilst this was highly noticeable and resulting in some queues of traffic leading up to the roundabout, at the time of my visit it did not appear to be causing harm to highway safety.

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"In terms of the development, it no doubt results in a small increase in traffic on the surrounding highway. However, given the size of the development and the established commercial nature of the site, I do not consider that the traffic that is generated causes harm.

"I have given weight to the provision of a car park and turning area within the appeal site including the presence of double yellow lines surrounding the appeal site.

"Collectively, these features mean that on-street parking associated with the development is unlikely, or not within the approaches to the junction.

"Objections refer to the fact that the development has been carried out without planning permission. I acknowledge that this may cause vexation for those opposed to the development, it is not however a reason to dismiss the appeal which is determined on its planning merits. It is therefore a matter of limited weight.

"Concerns are also raised that the development may become a takeaway in future. This is not, however, the development before me and I find no reason to dismiss the appeal due to potential future uses which in any event may require separate planning consent."

One condition of the approval is that the cafe can only open between 7am and 11pm.