Car Wash Outrage In Hockley

December 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Echo Report 21st December 2009 – Outrage as car wash is built without approval

A car wash is being put up without planning permission in Hockley.  Rochford District Council has called on those building the car wash, at the site of a former vehicle rental firm in Alderman’s Hill, to stop work immediately.  But yesterday the Echo saw workers continuing the development and digging a drain.  Residents got suspicious after a 12ft sign went up outside the site advertising James Hand Carwash and Valeting Service.  One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “It is an outrage this is still being built. It is on top of a hill, so our concern is the water and chemicals will run off into the drainage system.  “It will be dangerous at this time of year, creating black ice.  “Also, the emergency services use this as a main route into Hullbridge, causing further concern over accidents from the slippery conditions the valeting service will create. If there is an accident on the road caused by the valeting service, will it be to blame or the council?”  A board has been put up around the site, with work going on behind it.  Shaun Scrutton, the council’s head of planning and transportation, said: “The operator has been informed that works on the site are unauthorised and undertaken at their own risk.  “It has been recommended all works cease until planning issues are resolved. The council has been told a planning application is being prepared for the use of the site as a car wash, and consent will also be sought for the erection of a wall alongside Folly Lane.  “It is understood the underground petrol tanks have been filled with foam and made safe to the satisfaction of the petroleum officer.”  The Echo tried to talk to the workers yesterday, but our questions went unanswered. Residents with concerns have been told to contact the council’s planning department by email, letter or phone.