Extension plans at a Keighley hairdressers have been approved despite a clump of objections from nearby residents who claimed it could become a magnet for “intimidating young men”.

The owner of a barber’s shop on the corner of Skipton Road and Gale Street wants to spread out onto a small yard and build a new glass-fronted salon.

And the application before Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel last Wednesday was given the go-ahead, despite opposition from neighbours, who claimed the shop would become a night-time haunt for undesirables.

The first of ten anonymous objections implied unwanted loitering was already an issue, and stated: “The proposal will encourage more young men to congregate outside the premises, intimidating passers-by, local residents and schoolchildren.

“This will also lead to more litter, particularly in the form of discarded cigarettes and alcohol bottles, which poses a threat to young children living in the area.”

It was also alleged that during the festival of Eid, the business already operates as late as 4am.

But Bradford Council planning officers reported: “The objection letters suggest young men already congregate outside the premises, and the fear is if they are made larger, these premises will become a more regularly used ‘hang-out’.

“However, the congregation of youths outside the premises appears to be an existing problem, and is for other agencies to address rather than the local planning authority.”

They added: “The extended premises would not have a detrimental impact on the vitality of Keighley town centre and an insignificant impact on the amenity of neighbourhood occupants.”

Barbers shop owner, Hameed Islam, said he was delighted with the result.

He added: “Youths do come along with a friend who is having a haircut and have sometimes stood outside, but now we will have a modern, bigger and up-to-date shop, which will solve that and tidy it all up. And now the whole shop will look much more attractive to people driving into Keighley.

“I am very pleased with what is a good and independent decision,.”