A BANQUETING suite that has been operating “illicitly” for four years is the subject of the latest retrospective planning application to be submitted to Bradford Council.

38 Manningham Lane has planning permission to operate as a restaurant. But since 2014 the building has been used without permission as Pearl Banqueting - a wedding and events venue.

A retrospective planning application has now been submitted to Bradford Council to allow the use as a banqueting suite to continue.

Although the applicants say there have been “no causes for complaints” from local residents in the four years, Bradford Council says that there had been numerous complaints from residents about its use, and that, as well as a banqueting hall, a gym and catering company have been operating from the site without permission.

A similar attempt to gain retrospective permission for the business failed this summer after planning officers pointed out the business was on a “very busy and sensitive part of the highway network” and that the banqueting suite would lead to “indiscriminate parking” in the area.

They also raised concerns that noise generated by events would lead to an “unacceptable loss of residential amenity” for those living nearby.

Tony Singh of Power Centre (UK) has submitted the retrospective application, which claims there is no gym or catering business operating from the building.

The application says: “The Banqueting Suite specialises in events catering, and is popular among communities in the city of Bradford and the surrounding extended urban areas.

“In previous years that the site has traded as a car and garage dealership, an electrical goods shop, a shoe shop and Royal Taj restaurant and banqueting suite. It is important to consider that the site has operated the premises as a banqueting suite without the benefit of planning permission since 2014.

“In the four years that the site has illicitly operated as a banqueting suite there have been no causes for complaints from residents of the nearby surrounding area regarding noise.

“In the absence of complaints, no proposed changes in operating hours, and due to the similarities of a restaurant use and banqueting hall use, the proposed development will not cause any significant impact on residential amenity.

“The banqueting facility provides a successful trading facility for the benefit of the local community and its visitors.”

The application says the venue has a maximum capacity of 400 people, but that parties usually attract just 150-300 guests. It says each car coming to the venue has around three guests in, so there would be a maximum of 133 vehicles descending on the venue for each event.

It has a car park at the front with space for 18 cars, but a traffic statement in the application identifies a number of parking spaces on roads near the venue.

The application says: “Whilst it is acknowledged that on-site parking provisions are below the Council’s maximum parking standards, there are numerous on-street and ‘pay & display’ car parks located within 400m of the site that are available to guests travelling by car. The venue will actively seek to direct visitors to the formal car parking areas by providing travel information during the booking phase, and by managing the onsite car park on event days.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson, said: “We have received a number of complaints about this premises which also contains three unauthorised businesses at this time. A retrospective planning application was lodged in June this year for a wedding hall function room. This was refused on the grounds of insufficient parking and potential noise nuisance to nearby properties.

“The occupier has now lodged a new planning application which is open to comments.”

A decision on the application is expected in late December.