A CAR wash in Worcester has been ordered to take down a large plastic screen following complaints from neighbours.
The Diamond Car Wash in Bromwich Road, St John’s, put up a three- metre high plastic fence last Christmas without planning permission following complaints from residents about noise and spray from the business.
However, when considering whether to grant retrospective planning permission for the boarding, Worcester City Council’s planning committee were told the board had made matters worse. Carole Williams, who lives next door to the business, said the fence was not shielding her or her neighbours from spray and was generating more noise than it had before.
“It has no benefit at all, it’s just a piece of transparent plastic,” she said.
“This organisation has been allowed to operate seven days a week – we get no respite from the noise.
“We have a balcony that we are supposed to be able to enjoy in a conservation area – this is now blighted as we cannot enjoy it.”
Mrs Williams, who works from home from an office overlooking the business, described it as an “eyesore” and said the glare from the screen was often unbearable. “In the evening I cannot work without drawing my blinds,” she said. “If that fence remains I cannot use my study.”
Although some people had raised concerns about the visual impact of the screen, planning officer Alan Coleman – who had recommended the committee should grant retrospective permission – said he did not think this was grounds for refusal.
“If there’s scope for refusal it’s due to the harm to Mr and Mrs Williams’ property rather than the conservation area,” he said. Coun David Tibbutt said he did not feel comfortable permitting the development following Mrs Williams’ comments.
“If it’s in fact not doing its job it’s not something that we can give permission for,” he said.
The application was discussed by the committee in June, but was deferred until this month’s meeting so officers could put together more information on the development.
Members voted to refuse retrospective permission, which means the car wash has to remove the screen as soon as possible.