The latest planning application for a car wash on the former coach depot site at Standard Quay is on the agenda for the next meeting of Swale Borough Council’s planning committee, on THURSDAY 20 NOVEMBER, 7pm at Swale House.
The planning officer’s report is recommending approval, albeit somewhat reluctantly, on the basis that the last application was turned down at appeal for one reason only – noise nuisance – and as the new application claims it will eliminate the noise problem, there are no other grounds for refusal.
Neighbours had expressed concerns about jet spraying, but Steve Wilcock, Environmental Protection Team Leader for Mid Kent Environmental Health, says “I have since been contacted by Mr White, who assured me that the covered enclosure will not only contain noise but also spray from the car wash. He said that there will be no jet washing/spraying of cars outside of the enclosure. I am not in a position to disagree with this statement and therefore would raise no objections about spraying in addition to noise from this proposal. The proof of his declaration will come in future if there are no complaints about these activities.”
The planning officer’s report concludes that “Considering the previous history of the site and the concern of local residents I have included conditions to restrict the use of the site and to limit it to a temporary permission to enable the monitoring of the site and the impact of the activity.”
However, since the planning department’s enforcement performance has been under criticism and scrutiny recently, committee members might be forgiven for wondering whether these conditions are worth the paper they are written on. They might also question why the “temporary” period is five years (to 30 November 2019) – if there are problems, should the position not be reviewed long before then?