Nearly 800 sign petition to save North Walsham car wash

Pictured from left, car-wash workers: Ermal Sinaj, Podeanu Ciprian, Tabeica Marius, Cirstea Alin an

Pictured from left, car-wash workers: Ermal Sinaj, Podeanu Ciprian, Tabeica Marius, Cirstea Alin and Ciobotaru Constantin. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Nearly 800 people have signed an online petition calling for a North Walsham threatened car wash to be saved.

And 89pc (1,082) of people who voted in an EDP/North Norfolk News Poll also want the New Road business to stay open, compared to 11pc (131) against.

The car wash is set to be served with an Enforcement Notice by North Norfolk District Council, giving it three months to close.

It has prompted more than 100 complaints about noise, nuisance and drainage concerns since opening in 2011, mostly from two people living at addresses in New Road and Hall Lane.

Carl Purkiss, joint landlord of the car-wash site, said five men would be thrown out of work by the move.

'What are they supposed to do without money coming in?' He asked. 'They will be out on the street.'

Many of those who have signed the petition on the website have left comments. They include North Walsham resident Yvonne Coe who wrote: 'If you live and buy a property next door to a garage then you surely expect the noise. Otherwise move.

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'Don't ruin the guys earning a bit of money, there's enough on the dole now. Also this car wash gives a good service to many customers.'

Jan Campbell, of North Walsham, said: 'These are hard working people who do a good job. They are always busy. The community needs them.'

And Christopher Smith wrote: 'I live to the back of the car wash and have never been affected by noise.'

Mr Purkiss said they had been astonished at the groundswell of support for the business since planners voted to take enforcement action against it last month.

As soon as they received official notification of the council's decision, Mr Purkiss said they would lodge an appeal.

Councillors decided that the car wash had failed to comply with noise, drainage and screening conditions attached to temporary planning permission granted until December 2015.

Mr Purkiss said they had placed the vacuum cleaner inside a sound-proofed box which had cut the noise substantially so that a further planning condition, requiring extra screening to help muffle noise, was no longer necessary.

He claimed they had also submitted a drainage plan and that Anglian Water had no objections to the car wash.

Sue Arnold, the council's cabinet member for planning, said: 'The Enforcement Notice is likely to be served shortly. The applicants will have a month to appeal, if they do not appeal they will have three months to comply with the notice.'