Posted: Tue 23rd Jun 2020

Planning inspector upholds enforcement notice against Deeside car wash business which operated without permission

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jun 23rd, 2020

A planning inspector has upheld an enforcement notice against a Deeside car wash business which was operating without permission.

Flintshire Council took action against the owner of Suzie’s Hand Car Wash in Shotton after it was found it had been open without approval since 2011.

Business owner Darren Davies started a bid to gain the local authority’s backing last summer, but the application was later turned down.

It followed two neighbours raising objections after describing noise levels from the site as “unacceptable”.

An appeal was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of Mr Davies in January in an attempt to have the council’s decision overturned and to gain retrospective permission.

It also sought to overturn an enforcement notice requiring him to stop using the land on Chester Road East for washing and valeting cars.

However, the inspector appointed to oversee the case has now backed the action taken by the council.

In his report, Hywel Wyn Jones, said: “Car washing began on the site in 2011 and complaints were first received by the council in 2012 regarding its operation.

“Several attempts were made to pursue planning applications to regularise matters during a period when site ownership changed.

“The subject activities involve jet washing and vacuum cleaning. A neighbour describes the intrusive noise caused by these activities and the associated disturbance caused by running engines, loud music and raised voices.

“In a noise assessment submitted on behalf of the appellant it is acknowledged that noise from the car washing activities was at a level that had a significant adverse impact on the residential amenity of The Vicarage (nearby house), as described by its occupier and the council’s public protection team.”

A planner acting on behalf of Mr Davies had promised a shelter would be put in place to mitigate the noise impact if the appeal was allowed.

But the inspector pointed to evidence put forward by the council that a noise assessment carried out had not taken into account the extent to which sound would bypass the proposed screens.

Mr Wyn Jones said: “It seems to me that the concerns of the council’s specialist officer over the efficacy of the noise mitigating measures proposed are soundly based.

“I cannot, therefore, be reasonably satisfied that these measures would acceptably mitigate the noise generated by the activity to acceptable levels within the grounds of The Vicarage.

“The appellant suggests that any concerns in this respect could be addressed by requiring a noise management plan through a planning condition.

“However, as I have insufficient evidence that an acceptable plan could be secured, such a condition would be unreasonable.”

Although not included in the local authority’s reasons for refusal, he also noted another resident had referred to the impact of water and chemical spray.

He concluded the scheme would have a “significant adverse noise impact” on neighbours which could not be mitigated and therefore upheld the council’s decision.

A separate application by Mr Davies to gain approval for the use of the site as a car wash is currently being considered by the authority’s planning department.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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