A SOON to open cafe has been granted a licence to serve “late night refreshments” by a Council committee that met online for the first time.
The Bradford District Licensing Panel heard that the original plans for 31 Whetley Lane were for a development of two shops.
However, the current economic uncertainty due to the Coronavirus crisis led to Amar Choudry, the man behind the plans, to re-think the development.
He now plans to open a cafe selling hot and cold drinks, as well as snacks, that would be consumed off the premises.
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At a meeting of the Licensing Panel last week, members were asked to decide on whether to grant the business, which will be called FreshnFunky, a licence that would allow it to serve late night refreshments until 2am.
The committee met online, with the meeting being live-streamed for members of the public to view.
There had been two objections to the proposal, both from people who live near the site of the cafe.
They fear the late licence would lead to noise and traffic around the business into the early hours of the morning.
At the meeting Mr Chowdry was represented by his brother, Yasser. He said: “This will be a drive by take-away. Customers can’t come in and sit down. It will strictly be take-away, there won’t be people hanging around causing a nuisance. We’ll be serving the customers as quickly as possible, then they’ll leave.”
He said there were around three parking spaces on the street outside the site.
He told the committee; “We have planning for two retail shops and that was approved by Bradford Council. Highways didn’t raise any concerns.
“The retail units would create a lot more traffic than this cafe will.
“Tomorrow we could build the two shops. We can’t see a small cafe causing a huge issue.”
Explaining why the cafe was being built instead of the shops, he said: “Due to the economy we’re not in the position to build the shops, so we put a temporary cabin there for a cafe. We’ll have the cafe for about two years and then hopefully we’ll be able to build the shops.”
The committee were told that due to the small scale of the business, they should be able to maintain social distancing rules, with customers waiting outside while their food is prepared.
Two objectors spoke at the meeting, a Mr Hussain and a Mr Ayub, raising concerns about the impact of a late night business so close to homes.
Mr Hussain said: “Residents will be disturbed if people are out and about chatting. Even a handful of customers in their cars would cause a nuisance.”
Mr Chowdry pointed out that the business would be small scale compared to some nearby late night food businesses.
After a short deliberation the committee voted to grant the late night licence on the condition that the Licensee ensures that the external areas around the premises are kept clear of litter.