A LICENSING application for the sale of alcohol and the provision of entertainment on East Holmes Field in Ilkley has been withdrawn.

Members of Bradford District Licensing Panel had been due to consider the application, made by Edward Kean of Ravens Trades, a limited company based in Shipley, on Tuesday morning in City Hall, Bradford.

But at the start of proceedings Mr Kean announced he would retract the application to allow for more discussions to be held with the local community.

The application - for the sale of alcohol and provision of entertainment indoors and outdoors Monday to Sunday between noon and 8pm on East Holmes Field in Denton Road - had attracted objections from local councillors and residents who had raised concerns of criminal and anti-social behaviour and a breach of the Public Space Protection Order if the sale or consumption of alcohol was allowed on the site. Concerns were also raised regarding noise nuisance from events held at the site, littering and the lack of toilet facilities.

Speaking to the Ilkley Gazette after the meeting Mr Kean said he would defer events until next year - a decision he had taken quite a while ago.

He said: "The application was left in place because it was one less thing to do next year but I understand that these applications are quite dry and formal and there is no face behind them. My intention today was to come and give a face to the events proposed and to assure people that my intention isn't to bulldoze ahead with a series of events that don't represent the community. So our next step is to meet independently. I would welcome local community members and local businesses to attend so we can plan a series of events Ilkley can be proud of."

The meeting was attended by concerned local residents and Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley), who also had concerns over the scope of the application.

Cllr Hawkesworth said: "My expectation from a discussion with area officers was that events would be for four weeks in August. I was shocked when I eventually saw the application. What was being proposed was not acceptable.

"One of the concerns for me today was that as a member of the licensing committee I wasn’t able to speak even though I wasn't on today's panel.

"I decided to attend as an observer, mainly for the opportunity to discuss and negotiate outside the meeting. There will now be more consultations with the event organisers."

Councillor Andrew Loy (Con, Ilkley) said: “I’m glad this application has been withdrawn. There were significant concerns this could exacerbate the issues we continue to see at the riverside. I hope the applicant will think very carefully and consult residents and groups like the Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks before considering any future applications.”

One concerned resident who attended the meeting said: "I welcome any consultation with Mr Kean. What concerns local residents is the scope of his original licence application. This was for every day of the week. I don't think residents are against having events - it was the scope of the application which was unreasonable and would disproportionally impact the wellbeing and peace of mind of the community.

"We were grateful to Mr Kean for withdrawing the application and we welcome his desire to engage with residents."