The owner of a Bradford market trading illegally for the past nine months has vowed to appeal a decision by Council planners which could see the business closed down.

Mohammed Saeed set up Tradex Bazaar at the former Shires Bathroom site in Beckside Road in August last year opening four days a week with more than 250 stalls selling predominantly Asian goods.

But the market has been operating without the correct planning permission and markets licence from Bradford Council. Yesterday the authority’s planning panel refused Mr Saeed the change of use to retail that he needed to then apply for a market licence, amid fears that it was affecting city centre trade, particularly at Council markets.

In turning down the bid, chairman of the panel Councillor David Robinson, said: “We are diverting trade by allowing this illegal retail site to continue. Unless we leave employment sites for employment, and retail sites for retail, the city will remain in the state that it is at the moment.”

One member of the panel, Councillor Imran Khan (Lab, Bowling and Barkerend), voted for the scheme saying the bazaar provided those who cannot find a job the opportunity to set up a stall for themselves.

Afterwards Mr Saeed told the Telegraph & Argus: “We have got more people coming into Bradford than all of the markets combined. They are spending money in Bradford and it’s good for Bradford people.”

There is only one properly licensed bazaar currently operating in Bradford - the Bradford Bazaar - which opened legally last month at Cemetery Road after receiving a markets licence from the Council.

In addition the Marlboro Market, which runs from the former Marlboro Cinema, Carlisle Road, is awaiting the outcome of a licence application, having already got permission for retail use at the site.

Meanwhile, an application to allow retail use at part of Drummonds Mill, Lumb Lane, which was being recommended for refusal by planners at yesterday’s meeting, was withdrawn at the last minute. The Bazaar has recently relocated to the building, but currently operates without planning permission and a licence.

Coun Robinson asked that officers report back to the panel on possible enforcement action against the site.