Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Councillors oppose bid for car washes at rugby club and Tesco

A CAR wash could be opened at Henley Rugby Club.

A CAR wash could be opened at Henley Rugby Club.

Stephen Edwards, of Shiplake Bottom, Peppard, wants to use nine parking spaces at Dry Leas to create an open-sided metal tube structure with a plastic fabric canopy.

The business would be open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on Saturdays but closed on Sundays. It would employ two full-time and two part-time staff.

But Henley Town Council’s planning committee has recommended that the application is refused.

Committee chairman Dieter Hinke said: “I hate this term ‘hand car wash’ because it never is. It is a jet wash with a compressor and generator.”

He said he was worried about the proximity of the car wash to the Swiss Farm residential caravan park.

Councillor Hinke added: “We need an acoustic report to see what effect the car wash would have on Swiss Farm.”

Councillor Sam Evans said there was a large field between the two sites.

She said the car park was under-used except on match days and the car wash would encourage more people to park there, reducing the number of people using the town centre car parks.

Councillor David Clenshaw said: “Despite what Councillor Evans says, there is a loss of car parking spaces and I would never vote to reduce the number.”

Councillor David Silvester said: “The actual place for the car wash is not in the main car park, it is around the side where not many people park.”

He said the car wash could provide the club with extra income. Club chairman Mike Trethewey told the Henley Standard: “The number of spaces being lost is minimal and it is not in the public car park area.

“We are talking about the little car park used by the rugby club — it doesn’t affect any public parking.”

He said that the public car park was, at most, a third full on any one day.

Mr Trethewey said that the necessary acoustic noise surveys would be carried out.

Previous plans to open a car wash at the club were approved in February but the scheme did not go ahead.

A final decision will be made by South Oxfordshire District Council by July 19.

A second bid for a car wash in the car park at the Tesco store off Reading Road was also recommended for refusal by the committee.

The supermarket wants to convert nine parking spaces to a hand car wash and valeting operation, including the erection of a canopy and installation of an office. The original application was recommended for refusal in March due to loss of spaces, noise pollution, possible water pollution on a flood plain and it being unneighbourly.

Cllr Hinke said: “They have produced a new acoustic report and come up with new drainage reports and other things. I don’t find this satisfactory.

“They say the figures are now ‘marginally significant’. It is a clear oxymoron. The residents have to put up with car doors slamming and engines revving. Do we really want to increase noise levels for these people?”

Plans to open a car wash in the car park at Henley Hockey Club, which is owned by the town council, were refused permission last year.

lWhat do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley, RG9 1AD or email letters@henley standard.co.uk

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