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STAFFORDSHIRE: car wash planning decision delayed

STAFFORDSHIRE: car wash planning decision delayed

Posh Wash - planning committee meeting screenshot

A decision on retrospective planning consent being sought by a car wash site in Newcastle-under-Lyme has been pushed back by the borough council’s planning committee.

Permission has been sought for an existing canopy structure and shipping container as well as for restoration of a timber fence at the Posh Wash car wash on Liverpool Road.

The committee voted, eight to one, in favour of arranging a site visit which means a decision will not be made until 9th November at the earliest, when the committee has its next meeting.

The committee spent over 20 minutes debating the issue, after two councillors called it in to be discussed.

Cllr Gillian Williams said: “I do have grave reservations about the canopy.

“The business itself is established, and I think as an established employer they could have had a little bit more concern over the design of the canopy.

“It is an eyesore, and we live opposite so we know what it looks like.”

She added: “There’s three containers on there now, and I’d like to know what’s inside the three containers actually.

“I can understand the one for the lads to have a canteen and a cup of tea or whatever, but I’d like to know why they need three shipping containers.”

Cllr John Williams added: “Especially on the A34, we want businesses to thrive and even car washes to thrive and employ people – it’s good for the area in every way.

“But going back to Posh Wash, the business expanded and expanded and this canopy appeared.”

He said: “I’m concerned the deterioration could happen, because of its expansion that tends to leave it with clutter about.”

“I’d appreciate a site visit so members could see what’s there and get a feel for the area.”

The site has been in operation as a car wash since 2009, and prior to that was a forecourt for a car dealership.

One letter of objection was received by the council in relation to the application from a resident on Liverpool Road.

The letter highlighted concerns that the car wash has resulted in chemicals and water spray coming over the shared boundary and onto their property, and that  there is ongoing noise nuisance and vibration coming from the site.

Councillors were reminded by the chair, Cllr Andrew Fear, to focus on the issues in the planning application rather than the activity of the business more generally.

He said: “The application is very specific, it’s not about the nature of the business, it’s about the canopy, it’s about the shipping container and the timber fence. And that’s all it’s about”

“Members need to be very clear in their mind that those are the issues we’re focussed on.”

He said: “One of the issues that’s been raised is the nature of this canopy and it’s colour, and the question is whether we feel that’s an appropriate development in this area.”

An officer’s report recommended approval of the application.

It stated that use of the site is subject to a number of conditions, and any potential breaches of these can be addressed separately.

It added: “It is not considered that this proposal would exacerbate any existing issues.”

Words: Richard Price, Local Democracy Reporter

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