Car wash told it cannot create parking spaces for customers

PUBLISHED: 16:06 19 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:06 20 September 2020

Eaton Hand Car Wash in Ipswich Road, Norwich. Pic: Archant.

Eaton Hand Car Wash in Ipswich Road, Norwich. Pic: Archant.


A bid by a car wash to create parking spaces where its customers could leave their vehicles has been rejected, amid opposition.

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. Pic: Sonya Duncan.Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. Pic: Sonya Duncan.

The owners of the Eaton Hand Car Wash, at a former petrol station site off Ipswich Road in Norwich, had asked the city council for permission to create an 18-space car park.

They had hoped the car park could be put on a vacant site at the back of the car wash, so that customers could park and leave their cars on site after they had been washed.

But planning officers at Norwich City Council said no and rejected the application, which had been opposed by the Eaton Rise Residents Association and Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton.

In documents lodged with the council, Rob Sewards, from the applicant’s agents Anglia Design said the car wash owner was often asked if people could leave their cars after washing, so they can walk into the city.

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Mr Sewards said: “He is also conscious that if he does this, he doesn’t want to become a park and ride scheme with a free car wash thrown in. Therefore he may introduce a small charge to park if it is more than a few hours.”

But opponents, including city councillor Mrs Lubbock objected. She said: “I did raise concerns as I didn’t see the need for 18 car parking spaces. I was concerned it could become a money-making unofficial car park.”

And City Hall officers, in rejecting the proposal, said it was against the council’s policy to only allow new public off-street car parking within a defined area around the city centre.

Case officer Maria Hammond said: “Effectively, this proposal is for a public off-street car park to serve the city centre.

“Whilst the intention may be for it only to be used by existing car wash customers, the likelihood is it would be used as a public car park with additional car wash service.”

She said: “It is considered that it would attract additional private car journeys which are better served by existing more centrally located car parks and, more importantly, public transport, not least the park and ride service one mile south along Ipswich Road.”

It was rejected for being against the council’s policies, but also because it would be “harmful to the visual amenity and public enjoyment” of nearby Danby Park.

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