Pepper Royd Street
A DEWSBURY councillor has raised concerns of a Kirklees Council witch-hunt against disgraced local businessman Tahir ‘Terry’ Zaman.
Mr Zaman appeared in court in November on fly-tipping charges brought by the local authority, relating to land in Pepper Royd Street, Eastborough, which is subject to planning applications for a range of apartments in the derelict mill buildings.
That case was adjourned for trial in February.
Mr Zaman was back at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court last Thursday (December 12) when similar charges were brought relating to another piece of land he owns at Caulms Wood Road. That case has been adjourned until March.
However The Press has been sent documents showing that Dewsbury East Labour councillor Cathy Scott raised a “formal complaint” with the council’s Strategic Director of Economy and Infrastructure, Karl Battersby, over Kirklees’s approach to the convicted slum landlord, who already had a range of offences to his name – including fly tipping – before he was disqualified as a company director for six years, back in March.
Coun Scott, who is a member of the Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee wrote: “Mr Zaman is not happy that the council are continually targeting him on issues.”
Coun Scott added: “What is worrying to me he may have a point that there appears to be no resolve and a continued pattern of enforcement.”
Coun Scott’s concerns were raised on November 12, the week after the trial was due to be heard at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court. It was adjourned after Zaman told the court one of the witnesses he planned to call had died suddenly. That was believed to be former Heavy Woollen Planning sub-committee chairman and Dewsbury East Labour councillor Paul Kane.
Coun Kane was found dead at his Bywell Close home the previous evening. An inquest into his death is pending.
Planning applications for the Pepper Royd Street development posted near the properties show Tahir Zaman as the applicant, on behalf of the company Zeyy Ltd, registered at his home address in Heckmondwike Road, Dewsbury.
Zeyy Ltd’s only director is his son Yusuf, who is facing the same tipping charges along with his brother Mohammed Eesaa Zaman – both also of Heckmondwike Road – and a fourth man Uwais Rashid of James Street, Batley. They also face charges relating to controlled waste offences in Walker Street, Earlsheaton. All four men have pleaded not guilty.
A case management hearing in November went ahead in Terry Zaman’s absence as he was overseas – he is thought to spend the majority of his time in Saudi Arabia.
Karl Battersby, Strategic Director for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “We do not target people in any circumstances but we take our enforcement responsibilities very seriously and when we have reason to investigate an offence we will.
“As elected representatives local councillors regularly raise concerns to the council on behalf of their constituencies, which is what has happened here.
“The issue Coun Scott contacted us about was around an ongoing problem with waste being dumped on land owned by Mr Zaman and she has been briefed about this directly.
“Mr Zaman raised some wider concerns and they have been noted and are being treated as a formal complaint, which will be investigated fully.”
Regarding the Pepper Royd Street Mills, a plan submitted in October to convert first and second floor offices to residential was refused on November 15, while another application to convert the ground floor to nine apartments is still under consideration, but has been opposed by more than 70 local residents in a petition.