A HAND car wash has been set up in a Coventry shopping area – despite planning permission being refused.
Some Allesley Park residents, and council planning chiefs, are concerned about harm to the environment, and extra noise and traffic.
There is also confusion over whether access to the water supply below the pavement was granted by Severn Trent – despite council planning refusal.
The car wash and valeting service on the Nisa store car park at Unit 10, Westmede Centre, Winsford Avenue, Allesley Park, Coventry, opened in March – despite a planning application being formally rejected by a council planning officer in November last year.
We have learned Coventry City Council has since served an enforcement notice, ordering it to cease trade.
But the car wash re-applied for planning permission to continue operating.
The application was yesterday (May 8) refused by planning officers for a second time. It is not known if the applicants will appeal.
Planning chiefs had previously turned the scheme down because of a lack of supplied evidence over two concerns – disturbance to residents, and pollution concerns from materials and chemical detergents used.
Concerns about pollution into the local water course are shared by some residents.
Councillor Bally Singh has formally objected to the latest planning application.
His objection states there will be a loss of parking space from 40 to 10, adding: “This will have a knock-on effect to parking problems in a busy area of the Allesley Park estate with a medical centre, shops, superstore, adult day centre, library, church, schools etc.
“The nuisance and disturbance this will cause the community is significant, as parking problems are one of most prolific categories of case work for local councillors. It will also harm local trade.
“Hours of operation are not listed at all. This is completely unacceptable as the noise of cars using the car wash and employees working there will be disturbing the residential community nearby.
“I have concerns there are no waste/effluent clean-up measures in place for this car wash other than using the mains sewer.
“The use of strong concentrated cleaning liquids poses a danger to environmental health especially with run-off to the nearby Guphill brook area potentially affecting the local wildlife and ecosystem.
“… The site is next to the very important Guphill brook area, and a project by the Warwickshire Wildlife trust (and partners) have tried to restore wildlife here.”
Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee recently launched an inquiry into hand car washes, a growing industry.
Chair Mary Creagh MP said: “Hand car washes are a familiar sight throughout the UK and often offer drivers a cheaper and more convenient alternative to automatic car washes, but they may be having a damaging environmental impact.”
It is understood the car wash operators in Allesley Park had maintained they will minimise disturbance in offering a cheap and effective service to residents, and act responsibility regarding the environment.