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Sunday, July 14, 2024

An enforcement order has called for an unauthorised “chai village” to be demolished by the end of the month

An unauthorised “Chai Village” on a busy Bradford road needs to be pulled down by the end of the month after an enforcement notice was issued by Bradford Council.

The café business was built on a vacant site on Thornton Road in 2022, despite planning permission having never been granted.

Since then, five attempts to gain retrospective planning permission have failed – the most recent attempt being an appeal that was dismissed earlier this year.

Bradford Council has now issued an enforcement notice against the site, ordering that all the unauthorised structures, and a large digital screen, be removed from the site by 30 June.

The business is made up of a café, constructed using a shipping container, indoor seating area, large LED screen and car park.

It is based on a former mill site in the Goitside Conservation Area, on the outskirts of Bradford city centre.

The first application for a café on the site, part of the Goitside Conservation Area, was refused by Bradford Council in late 2021, with officers saying it was “out of keeping” with the much larger buildings that make up the protected area.

They also argued it could hinder future development of a key site in the city.

After that, two other planning applications for the development were refused, with officers raising issues including the impact of traffic of the development and concerns about the large screen on the site.

A fourth retrospective application was submitted last year, but planners said it was too similar to the previously refused schemes, and declined to even consider it.

An appeal against one of the refusals was submitted by Chai Village LTD.

But earlier this year a Government appointed planning inspector dismissed this appeal, saying: “The design of the development, including materials such as the decking area and plywood canopy with artificial grass, are of poor quality which do not reflect the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

“The appellant has not clearly outlined benefits of the proposal, but I acknowledge that there would be some limited public benefits of the scheme. Nonetheless, the benefits are not sufficient to outweigh the harm.”

The enforcement notice against the unauthorised work has been issued by Bradford Council, and was published online this week.

It requires the “demolition of the unauthorised single storey structures and freestanding screen structure.”

It also requires all materials to be removed from the land – and states all the work needs to be completed within one calendar month of the notice taking effect (30 May).

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