Councillors have voiced concerns over rogue markets operating illegally in the city, which shop owners claim are damaging their trade.

Members of Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee yesterday called for a report on possible action to clamp down on unlawful bazaars operating without planning permission or market licences.

A petition, with 79 signatures, was submitted to the authority in December calling for “clear and unambiguous rules” over the opening of markets in the district, which it claimed were having a detrimental effect on long-standing businesses due to unfair competition.

Councillors were yesterday told officers were unable to pursue legal action against the bazaar trading as Tradex in Beckside Road, Lidget Green, which opened in August, as a planning application was due to be considered by members later this month. The market comprises of up to 250 stalls at the former Shires site.

The owner of another illegal bazaar, the Marlborough Market in Carlisle Road, Manningham, which has almost 50 stalls on two floors, had been issued with an application form for a market licence but had failed to return the paperwork despite being sent several reminders.

Councillor David Green, the Council’s executive member with responsibility for markets, who also attended the meeting, said he had been approached regularly over the last few months by concerned business owners. He said the Council needed to look at how it used its market rights to support existing businesses, rather than unfairly safeguard its own markets provision.

The authority also needed to make procedures clearer for traders applying for planning permission and market licences.

Coun Green said: “I’m not suggesting we indulge ourselves in unfair competition but ensure fair competition.”