Cheshire East plan to tackle “antisocial” car washes
Councillors hope to take would-be hand car washes to task with strict planning guidelines on issues such as air quality, noise and light pollution, and the drainage of waste water.
“There have been a number of these sites across Cheshire East and in various places they have impinged upon the planning process,” said Adrian Fisher, head of planning strategy at CEC. In some cases, the establishment of these operations without the necessary planning consent, and certainly in a few cases, they are now subject to enforcement action. We have experienced this very much in the way that other parts of the country have done.”
CEC’s move follows a report by a Parliament select committee, which highlighted issues surrounding some hand car washes.
These include pollution and flouting of planning rules – as well as modern slavery, workforce exploitation and non-payment of tax.
Conservative Cllr Gill Merry, chairman of the strategic planning board, agreed that the document is ‘very much needed’.
She said: “It comes back to regulation, and at the moment all we have is the normal planning process. With this there will at least be some regulation behind it and hopefully in time that will be extended into other areas because we are very much aware of modern slavery, people working under the minimum wage and living in conditions that are not acceptable. And these car washes have inflicted unknown harm on residents. We don’t know what has gone into the drains, we don’t know what has gone into the air and a number of other issues.”
A draft version of the document will come back to the strategic planning board for approval at a future meeting.