Questions bubble over car wash

Wash site: Mr Bubble Hot car wash in Penwortham, which has been open for months. below, Coun Jon Hesketh
Wash site: Mr Bubble Hot car wash in Penwortham, which has been open for months. below, Coun Jon Hesketh
Share this article
Have your say

Concern that business allowed to operate without planning consent.

ANGRY residents are demanding to know why a car wash business has been allowed to trade for months without proper permission.

Coun Jon Hesketh

Coun Jon Hesketh

Bosses at Mr Bubble Hot at 248 Liverpool Road, Penwortham, have now applied to South Ribble Council for retrospective permission to use the former petrol station site as a car wash.

But Howick and Priory Coun David Howarth said the delay raises questions about the council’s planning procedures.

He said: “There was a car wash there before, so the presumption is that they’ll get permission, but I know local people have worries and they have not had a chance to 
formally object to planning before now. This business has already been running for five months without permission, so it begs the question, do we have a planning application process anymore?”

A nearby resident said: “We’re angry that they’ve just come along and opened up without anyone being consulted and without permission. The spray is always flying into our garden and it’s very noisy.”

Mr Bubble Hot manager Shaway Issmail said: “We don’t have the planning permission yet, but the council is letting me trade. As far as I’m concerned, I’m doing nothing wrong. I’ve heard of one complaint from a neighbour, and we’ve already worked to reduce noise and the spray.”

Coun Jon Hesketh, chairman of the planning committee, said the former petrol filling station site included a car wash, and 12-month temporary permission had been given for car wash use in 2011.

He said: “A new business has since moved on to the land that is again running as a car washing service, but over a more extensive area. We required them to regularise this use and are currently processing a planning application for this. We sent out letters to neighbours and to date have not received any responses. Given that the original use included a car wash, we do not feel it would be a good use of taxpayer’s money to take enforcement action until the outcome of the application is known.”