Row continues over car wash site

Owner Nigel Byrne at Crystal Clean in Howick, Penwortham
Owner Nigel Byrne at Crystal Clean in Howick, Penwortham
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Car wash bosses have been accused of “putting two fingers up at the council” by operating without permission.

Crystal Clean 2 took over the Howick Cross Service Station site in Liverpool Road, Penwortham in March, while a temporary licence was in place for a car wash business.

When this expired, they sought permission for a car wash, tool hire office and for a building for MOT’s, car servicing and tool hire storage, but were denied on the grounds of noise disturbance to neighbouring properties.

The business is still running, prompting anger from local residents and councillors.

But owner Nigel Byrne said the matter was “ongoing” and he was operating with the full knowledge of planning and environmental officers.

Local councillor David Howarth took the matter to a council meeting last week.

He said: “Planning permission has not been granted and these people are effectively putting two fingers up at the council. They continue to cause massive nuisance at the site. Can we have assurance that enforcement will be taken as soon as possible to give residents some peace and quiet?”

South Ribble Council said enforcement officers have since conducted a visit and will be carrying out assesments on equipment designed to reduce noise. The business can operare while this takes place.

Mr Byrne, 53, said: “We’re a family business with 30 years experience and we want to do things to appease people. We have moved the car wash to the front, have turned the jets to low pressure, fitted special nozzles on the jets, have rubber mats on the floor and will put sound-proofing screens up.

“There has been a business here for over 100 years and it’s a massive site to be empty.

“On top of that, within 12 to 18 months we want to employ up to 35 staff, paying proper wages and looking after people.”