Heated debate over controversial car wash site

Loxley House
Loxley House

A car wash which residents say is ‘noisy’ and ‘has attracted rats’ has been given a temporary extension, meaning it can continue operating.

One councillor called the decision ‘bloody outrageous’ in a highly-charged meeting of the city council’s planning committee.

However the owner of Apollo car wash, in Hucknall Lane, said he has been ‘picked on’ and ‘victimised’, and that other car washes in the area are operating without any planning permission at all.

The site, which is on the former Apollo Hotel, in Bulwell, was originally given permission as a car wash for three years in August 2013.

This expired in August 2016, but without a further planning application being made, the car wash continued to operate.

Several storage containers, a burger van and a range of vehicles were also being stored on the site, without planning permission.

Enforcement action was taken by Nottingham City Council, but the site continued to operate.

Neighbours say that one person even moved house because of the noise and the number of rats, which they say are caused by the car wash

Now, business owner Michael Barker has been given a year to clear up the site. He has also been told to install acoustic fences to block some of the sound.

But Mr Barker says he has been blamed unfairly.

He said: “I’ve done everything properly, but I’m being picked on. It’s a family business and the site is always clean as a whistle.

“I’m law abiding, but they are trying to blame me for rats – there are absolutely none on my site.”

The car wash was last discussed by the committee in January of this year, when permission to continue operation was refused.

Speaking at the latest meeting of the committee, councillor Malcolm Wood, who represents the Bilborough Ward for Labour, twice called the application ‘bloody outrageous’.

He said: “I’m absolutely gobsmacked that this has come back so quickly (since January). I have to say that I have no faith in the assurances given by this company, they have been notoriously bad tenants, they have treated neighbours with derision.

“I just find it absolutely lamentable that we can be considering this given that the committee was unanimous in its rejection of the planning application when it came before.

“Enforcement was ordered, and I don’t think that enforcement has really been carried out with any kind of diligence. I am really quite disappointed.”

The plans, which include a change in the conditions so the car wash can only start work from 10am at weekends, was approved by nine votes to four.

Kit Sandeman , Local Democracy Reporting Service