AN UNLAWFUL hand car wash at a Coventry shopping centre is facing legal action after failing to comply with a council enforcement order to stop trading.
As we reported this month, the car wash at the Nisa store car park, Westmede Centre, Winsford Avenue, Allesley Park, has been operating since March despite being being refused planning permission.
Some Allesley Park residents and council planning chiefs are concerned about extra noise and traffic, lost car parking spaces, and harm to the environment from chemicals in detergents – including pollution of the local water course.
A second planning application was also rejected by planning officers earlier this month, after the enforcement notice was served.
The car wash had until May 21 to cease trading but has been operating since.
It was also ordered to clear the site, yet the car wash and valeting service remains there today.
A Coventry City Council spokesperson told us today: “The deadline for compliance remains 21st May 2018.
“To date no further application appears to have been submitted. To date no appeal against the Enforcement Notice appears to have been submitted, and no appeal against the latest refusal of planning permission appears to have been submitted.”
Asked about next steps, they added: “Prosecution at the Magistrates Court for the offence of failing to comply with the requirements of an Enforcement Notice.”
We have learned council officers were planning to visit the premises this week to serve ‘formal prosecution warning letters on the owners/operators of the site’.
Preparations for legal proceedings are set to start. An application would then be made to the court for an initial hearing date.
Planning permission was initially refused in November last year.
Councillor Bally Singh has been among formal objectors.
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.”