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Faversham hand car wash wins appeal to reopen in Standard Quay

By Dan Wright

A controversial car wash has been approved after several rejections.

Site owner Michael White has faced a series of rejections over the past three years for his proposals at Standard Quay in Faversham.

However, he lodged a successful appeal to transform the former transport depot this week.

The car wash at the former coach depot on Standard Quay
The car wash at the former coach depot on Standard Quay

Mr White came close to having his plans approved in his previous application, which was submitted in July last year.

However, despite a recommendation for approval from Swale Borough Council’s planning officers, the plans were turned down by councillors on the planning committee.

Mr White appealed the decision, and the site was approved last Tuesday by the planning inspector.

The appeal document lists the main concerns as the effect “on the living conditions of surrounding residents and whether it would preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Faversham Conservation Area, including the setting of nearby listed buildings”.

But according to the report, these potential problems would not arise because the car wash would be inside.

The report says: “The doors at either end would be weighted to ensure that the interior is sealed and they would be shut when rinsing takes place.

“This would be done by lance spray equipment and cars would also be cleaned by hand-held sponges.”

The car wash will reopen in a month
The car wash will reopen in a month

Further concerns raised included fears about the noise level.

But the report states the building would be acoustically insulated and that “the proposal differs significantly from the previous application in that it is now intended to construct a building to contain the car-washing activities”.

It added: “Noise from car engines left running as customers wait and as they arrive at or leave the site is also a matter of concern.

“However, this is not a quiet, suburban location, but rather an area where a variety of activity takes place cheek by jowl.”

The car wash had opened in March 2012, and Peter Johnson, from Ospringe was a regular user before it closed.

He said this week: “There’s quite a few of us who are really pleased to see that it’ll be opening again.

“It’s a great service and they’re great people. I’ll certainly be returning when they’re back up and running.

“The car’s getting a bit dirty now.”

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