A CONTROVERSIAL application to extend the facilities at a Keighley garage have been approved by Councillors.
Keighley Auto Paint on Belcher Street had applied for permission to build a small extension to its workshop and build a new storage building in its compound.
Bradford Council had received 24 objections to the plans, and at an online meeting of the Authority’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee on Thursday, members discussed the plan.
Objectors had raised concern about noise generated by the business, and the impact on neighbouring resident’s day to day lives.
There had been seven letters of support for the plans, highlighting the importance of the car repair business.
Planning officers said the area was a mix of workshops and businesses and housing, and that a garage business had been at this location for around 60 years, and no time/operational restrictions had been placed on the original, decades old planning permission.
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Councillor Malcolm Slater (Lab, Keighley East) spoke on behalf of the objectors. He said: “Many residents have spoken to me because of the problems they have had with the business over the last 20 years.
“There is noise nuisance at unsocial hours, in the early hours of the morning, the frequent presence of HGVs making delivery and the washing of cars in the street.
“These problems are enormous, massive, colossal, every word you can get from a thesaurus.”
Planning officer Martyn Burke said the extension, which included a building for storage only, would not lead to an intensification of work on the site. He pointed out that the business was long established at this location.
At one point an objector began speaking, despite the fact that only people who are registered to speak are given log on details to the meeting.
They were cut off and advised to instead watch the meeting on the live stream.
Members were told the expansion would not be enough of a change to impose retrospective restrictions on the business.
Any complaints about noise or working at anti-social hours would have to be dealt with by the Environmental Health department, not the planning department – planning officers added.
Two members, Councillor Zafar Ali (Cons, Keighley Central) and Councillor Mohammed Amran (Lab, Heaton) suggested the plans be refused due to the impact the business was having on the lives of local residents.
However, other members voted against their proposal to refuse.
The application was then approved, with five Councillors voting in favour and two against.