PLANS seeking permission for a hand car wash facility to continue operating have again been refused. 

The application for the site at 383 - 385 West End Road, Haydock, was sent in to council planners in February.

It seeks retrospective permission for a change of use from a car sales forecourt to a hand car wash, with a new canopy, perspex screen, and carport, and the change of use of a garage storage to a tyre shop.

The site is located on West End Road, near to a roundabout and is "currently operating as a car wash and valeting business", plans stated.

Plans, submitted by applicant Mr Seyed, add: "The site had previously been granted temporary planning permission for a care wash facility for a period of three years which has subsequently expired".

In 2023, plans for the retention of the hand car wash had been refused as it was said it "would impair the peace and quiet" for residents. Following an appeal, the Planning Inspectorate upheld the council's decision and "agreed that the metal fence and canopy is considered prominent, incongruous, and visually harmful to the character and appearance of the area", planning officers said.

Objections to 'eyesore' development

The new plans attracted three letters of objection from residents, with claims the facility is an "eyesore" and concerns over noise among the complaints.

A planning statement for the new retrospective application said: "A previous planning application has been granted at the site and therefore the principle of the change of use for a car wash facility has already been established and considered acceptable on a temporary basis.

"The proposal would result in the retention of three full and one part-time jobs, which supports the aim of the Local Plan. The retention of the outdoor car wash facility will have a positive effect on the local economy for the borough".

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It added: "The proposed new design has taken into account the refusal comments from the officer’s report for the previous application along with the objections raised by residents, regarding the St Helens Local Plan where the visual amenity is taken into consideration".

Plans added: "The Perspex area will reduce the amount of spray which is carried over to resident’s gardens and will also create a clearly defined area where vehicles are valeted within the site". It was noted "the jet wash and vacuum aspects were deemed to have a potential for noise-producing activities and the design has been adapted to include measures to reduce the impact on local residents".

St Helens Star: St Helens Council planners have again refused a planning application for the siteSt Helens Council planners have again refused a planning application for the site (Image: St Helens Star)

However, council planning officer Alex Ball recommended the new plans be refused.

In a report, he said: "The development would create poor quality design and result in visual clutter along a prominent gateway corridor, causing harm to the visual amenity of the site and surrounding area along a prominent gateway corridor".

It was added: "The application has failed to provide adequate technical evidence that the development would not result in harm to the living conditions for the occupants to the rear of the application site along Park Street and has not provided sufficient details of adequate noise mitigation".

Permission was refused.