‘Crazy’ eco car wash plans for Crewe look set to be turned down

The facility would have electric vehicle charging points if approved

Plans for an eco-friendly car wash with electric vehicle charging facilities in Crewe have been recommended for refusal because planners say it would be too noisy for neighbours. Carbana Limited wants to build the facility, which would include four jet wash bays and four valeting bays, two self-serve electric vehicle charging bays and amenity building with customer lounge, on land near the Cross Keys roundabout.

The site, which is on the corner of Broad Street and North Street, was previously used as a car park by for the former garage car showroom. Cheshire East’s planning officers acknowledge the scheme has its benefits. A report due to go before Wednesday’s meeting of the southern planning committee states: “It is considered that the design is of a functional nature for its use.

The officer also states in the report: “The development would have the positive benefit of some ‘eco’ type uses and would create a small amount of job creation during construction an in operation.” But he adds: “When considering the wider noise impact on the living conditions of the adjacent neighbours, the change of use of the site from a car park to a car washing facility running 8am to 8pm every day including weekends and bank holidays would be unacceptable and would have an unacceptable impact on the living conditions of the adjacent neighbours.”

Following the recommendation for refusal, the applicant revised the application and changed the hours of operation from 9am to 6pm on Saturdays; 10am to 5pm Sundays and bank holidays and 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. The planning officer says, in an update to the original report: “The applicant considers that the amended hours of operation would reduce the impact on neighbouring residents and allow them the ability to sit in their gardens on summer evening without disturbance.

“They state that normal working weeks, operational hours of 8am to 8pm are reasonable given the plethora of other operational uses at this time and including people’s normal working patterns.” But the officer states while the reduced hours would have some benefit ‘this is not a significant change to the proposed use, and operationally the noise impact would still remain during a large proportion of the time’.

He continues: “The main issue is the type of use in close proximity to neighbouring properties. The use of vacuums and jet washers generate significant noise levels for short periods of time. The intermittent operation of the equipment which would produce bursts of high powered noise throughout the day would be particularly disturbing.”

The application was called in to be considered by the committee by ward councillor Suzanne Brookfield (Lab), who had concerns about highways issues. Cllr Brookfield said in her letter to the committee: “There are already seven junctions from this gyratory and local ward councillors have requested further highway assessments are undertaken in respect of safety both from a motorist and pedestrian aspect.

“I believe the access to the proposal is dangerous and will cause further queues to traffic.” Crewe Town Council has also objected to the proposal and there have been 25 letters opposing the scheme and one of support.

The southern planning committee meeting takes place at 10am on Wednesday, August 3, at Crewe Municipal Buildings.

By

Belinda RyanLocal Democracy Reporter
  • 12:57, 2 AUG 2022

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