Government foils 80-year-old resident’s campaign to block Wisbech car wash

A GOVERNMENT inspector has thwarted an 80-year-old resident’s fight to block a hand car wash from opening near his Wisbech home.

Basil Calvert had successfully campaigned to prevent the car wash opening in Kirkgate Street, at the junction of Lerowe Road and Norwich Road, amidst fears it would cause flooding and traffic chaos.

Fenland District Council dismissed applications by Hoshang Jamal twice last year - but planning inspector Richard High has now overturned the decision on appeal.

Mr Jamal has won permission for the temporary hand car wash with a canopy and acoustic screening but he will have to discontinue the business within 12 months.

Mr Calvert, who had printed his own leaflets to protest against the application, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard that it had been passed. I’ve fought this twice before and now it’s back again.

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“It’s awful. There was a three-car crash on that corner recently, so what does that say about the dangers of the junction?

“All the children come along the road to get to the infant school, so what’s going to happen when there are cars queuing for a car wash?

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“The road also gets flooded with water even without a car wash so I’m petrified as to what it will be like now.”

Mr High ruled that the development “would not be harmful to the living conditions of nearby residents” and he dismissed road safety fears, stating that there would be “significant provision” for cars to queue on the site.

The land must be restored to its former use as a car-park within 12 months of the opening of the car wash, unless another application is approved.

A scheme for lighting provision must be agreed and a full noise assessment must also be submitted to the planning authority. The car wash will be permitted to open from 9am-6.30pm on weekdays and from 10am-5pm on weekends and public holidays.

Mr High concluded: “As a small scale commercial operation in this mixed use location, I do not accept that it would detract from the character of the area.”

Protests continue over the shock decision and fresh concerns have already been raised over the issue of draining car wash water into the “storm” drains.

The Environment Agency state that waste water from mobile pressue washers should not be discharged to surface drains.

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