Decision time for car wash plans


Plans to build a hand car wash and valet service on a previously developed site on Alderley Road will be determined by the Northern Planning Committee next week.

The applicant is seeking permission for a change of use of a former petrol filling station to build two car wash bays, with both bays consisting of a spraying area and a valeting area.

This application is a resubmission (of application 16/3309M) which was withdrawn prior to determination in September 2016 due to the need to address concerns relating to highway safety and lack of information regarding noise impact and land contamination.

Wilmslow Town Council felt the application did not address their earlier concerns and objected on the grounds of the likely impact on the highway caused by vehicles queueing to access the facility, concerns over the adequacy of the drains and treatment of waste water from the car wash, the impact on the surrounding businesses and residential properties and the visual impact on the character of this high quality residential area.

Forty five letters of objections were also received. Amongst the issues raised were: additional traffic congestion, with queuing traffic on Alderley Road; the site is too small to fit this kind of operation; the proposed design is totally out of character with the residential area; noise pollution from high pressure washers, hoses and vacuuming machines; air and light pollution; proposed screen unsightly and inadequate to prevent overspray and the drainage network will be unable can cope with the volume of excess water running off site.

The Planning Officer is recommending the application for approval at the Northern Planning Committee on Wednesday, 12th July.

The report for the meeting states "Whilst it is recognised that Alderley Road is a busy, main route, the Strategic Infrastructure Manager considers that the level and nature of traffic movements arising from the proposed reuse and operation of the site will not have a detrimental impact on highway safety or traffic conditions.

"This proposal has been assessed on its merits and it is concluded that the proposed development has an acceptable impact on the character of the area, living conditions of neighbouring properties, highway conditions and all other matters of public interest.

"It is therefore considered that proposed development of this former petrol filling station site represents a sustainable form of development within the Wilmslow urban area."

The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for reference 16/5610M.

Alderley Road, Planning Applications


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 5th July 2017 at 7:40 am
Was not able to attend the presentation on Royal London this week but I understand the Local Plan proposes a new access to the site off Alderley Road on the opposite side to Donkey Lane, next door to this site. Not a brilliant proposal in its own right given the size of the Royal London development but just more and more traffic either moving or stationary on Alderley Road. Further road safety issues and further urbanisation of this "quality living" part of Wilmslow. I use the word "quality" as we are told this is what the plan for Royal London is bringing in an exciting new era. The NPB needs now to be taking into account what is coming in the Plan and not make their decisions in isolation.
Wednesday 5th July 2017 at 8:08 am
There is a roadside carwash like this near Lakeland. How that got planning permission from Stockport is beyond me. The queue is down the road to the lights and those coming from the Cheadle direction block the "straight on" section of the road because it can only take a certain number of cars at at a time and they are waiting to turn "right" into it. On a Friday the traffic is ridiculous there with the parked cars too. There is another one on Stanley Green Trading Estate - just passed the B@Q turn on the left. Again there is traffic queued waiting to go in, especially on a Friday with all the workers in this area having their cars cleaned for the weekend. Hence is it sensible to put a carwash next to the Kings Arms? On the other side of the Kings Arms we already know the chaos and dangers caused by parking.
Marilyn and Brian Connolly
Wednesday 5th July 2017 at 3:44 pm
This surely cannot be allowed to happen. It will cause traffic chaos and can only present a danger, particularly at peak times. It is hard enough driving through Wilmslow, in any direction, at any time especially at peak times and the potential hold-ups this will cause do not bear thinking about.
David Scott
Wednesday 5th July 2017 at 4:56 pm
Welcome this. A car wash is needed in the Wilmslow town area
Mark Jackson
Wednesday 5th July 2017 at 9:24 pm
A car wash is needed ?

Really ? if physically able, get a bucket, a sponge and some soapy water and get on with it, free exercise in the open air and a clean car as a byproduct, perhaps donate the money you would have paid to charity ?

Plus you save time as it is quicker than being sat in a queue of other drivers who are also too lazy/important to wield a sponge in anger.

I do also believe there are already car washes locally.
Ryan Dance
Thursday 6th July 2017 at 7:42 pm
Traffic ...blah blah. Bore off. Perfect for a car wash.
Deleted Account
Thursday 6th July 2017 at 7:48 pm
Well at least it's not planned to be embedded in the middle of a residential area (i.e. the Lidl plans for a big store on the Energie gym site Summerfields) but surely CE will not overlook the impact on traffic flows?

As Jackie Pass says, witness the havoc at the carwash at the Stanley Road traffic lights.

There's a serious accident just waiting to happen.

Surely this site would be better for much needed affordable apartments for local workers / keyworkers ?

I'm all in favour of commerce and enterprise but surely not here?
James McCaig
Thursday 6th July 2017 at 11:19 pm
Could cause delays at major ,busy, traffic roundabout.Not an attractive introduction to
'the Wilmslow experience' of over-developement leading to ever increasing traffic jams -
presumably filling a gap before yet another unattractive apartment blot on the sky-line!
Fiona Doorbar
Saturday 8th July 2017 at 7:55 am
It would be interesting to find out how many customers that use the Handforth car wash travel there from Wilmslow. Perhaps this additional car wash might alleviate the congestion in Handforth somewhat....just a thought!
Ryan Dance
Saturday 8th July 2017 at 10:32 am
Procrastinate all you want. Plenty of that on here aka...let's try every conceivable angle to convince ourselves a perfectly logical use of what is redundant space shouldn't be used.

If the operator thinks they can make it work. Good luck.

Perhaps the traffic would b somewhat less if people who continually pontificate about the use of cars and traffic...actually reduced their own use.

That might be a start.
Terry Roeves
Saturday 8th July 2017 at 4:55 pm
Hardly a priority for our proposed Neighbourhood Plan. Must be far better
uses for such a site, so close to the town centre.
Ryan Dance
Saturday 8th July 2017 at 6:37 pm
It's been empty since the esso closed down...a better use? It would have been done already. It's not exactly a large development site.

If I could conjure up the funds terry. I'd put a stack bucks drive through in. I don't think the anti the development Mob would want that?

Perhaps a fast food drive through outlet? A Wild flower meadow? Expansion of
Travis? Hotel bedrooms attached to the pub?

My point being... what ever is proposed the absolutely absurd anti anything mob will make some ridiculous comments... traffic being the main one. Unless it's some pie in the sky idealolgical community cause. Most of don't understand the need to make a profilt. They think their pension funds grow on the carrs.

Leave it as a concrete fenced eyesore. Absolutely ridiculous what I read on here.
Deleted Account
Monday 10th July 2017 at 11:09 am
Hello Ryan,

Regardless of what is builtt he issue of the impact on traffic MUST be bought into the equation at an easy stage.

If cars are allowed to queue (and they will) there's a huge risk to life and limb in whats already a clogged up stretch of road.

Far more important than gleaming washed cars surely.

If it has to be developed then please affordable homes for locals and keyworkers that are priced out of their home town ?
David Scott
Monday 10th July 2017 at 5:24 pm
Why is everyone obsessed with traffic flow.This used to be a gas station with a large traffic flow, don't see much difference myself.
Also more houses is not the answer Wilmslow is slowly dying as a town and needs more infrastructure, a car wash would be a start.
Ade Whitaker
Monday 10th July 2017 at 6:12 pm
I agree with Martin - I thought we were short of non green belt land for housing in Wilmslow. I disagree with the comment on how traffic will be similar to the Esso garage. Petrol stations seem capable of more bandwidth than car washes - so there are no queues.
Jon Armstrong
Monday 10th July 2017 at 6:25 pm
David, it's because those whose dream it is for Wilmslow to return to whatever rose-tinted ideal they prefer love to use traffic as one of the default objections they crowbar into everything no matter whether there is any logic to it. Is this place likely to wash more cars per day than bought petrol there when it was a petrol station? Clearly not, therefore traffic is not a legitimate objection, as if anything there would be a net reduction.

Other common and often completely unfounded objections usually include parking (even when the thing proposed would attract fewer or the same cars as the thing it is to replace), housing density (even when the proposed density is similar to surrounding properties), it's not affordable housing (just as long as those affordable houses aren't anywhere near to the people objecting), something being an important community asset (despite nobody using it, including those objecting) or something being historically important (usually when it isn't particularly and has been declining without anyone much caring for years).

Many of these same people who do their best to sabotage every brownfield development or change of use application are the same people who then loudly bemoan developers turning the attention to the surrounding green fields...
Fiona Doorbar
Monday 10th July 2017 at 8:30 pm
Well said Jon
Kathryn Blackburn
Tuesday 11th July 2017 at 9:09 am
Jon Ryan and Fiona. Cars take a lot longer to have washed than to fill with petrol. Have none of you witnessed the chaotic debacle that is the car wash near to the Waggon and Horses and the traffic lights at the Hotel intersection just beyond Handforth ? IMO this is the wrong plan in the wrong place.
Fiona Doorbar
Tuesday 11th July 2017 at 3:21 pm
Kathryn , please reread my comment. I do not dispute what you are saying about the time it takes to wash a car versus fill a tank up.
I merely ask whether the additional business suggested in Wilmslow might alleviate the issues at the Waggon and Horses junction!
Jon Armstrong
Tuesday 11th July 2017 at 4:17 pm
Yes Kathryn I am aware of that, but also that for every car being washed I'd bet 100 cars stop for petrol, so the throughput will be far far less.

The car wash at the Waggon and Horses is a completely different arrangement entirely. It essentially in the middle of a major three way junction controlled by traffic lights, where this site isn't on a junction at all. This site is also of a shape that would hopefully allow for a better arrangement of cars and facilities, rather than the smaller triangular plot in Handforth.
Fred Rayers
Tuesday 11th July 2017 at 5:00 pm

Having used the one in Handforth I would have said it was a noticeably larger plot than the Waggon and Horses. Also the triangular plot means they very usefully have a loop around the back to allow for maybe 8-10 cars queuing, which is rather more practical than a set of parking bays where the space in front of them is where people will pull in off the road.
Deleted Account
Tuesday 11th July 2017 at 11:03 pm
To appreciate the chaos at the Waggon & Horses car wash from queuing cars, then please go and see first. And that's a bigger plot than at the old Esso garage

Then make a judgement...

NB : As for queues outside petrol stations weren't the last were during the fuel shortages in the 1970s ?
Kathryn Blackburn
Wednesday 12th July 2017 at 8:20 am
Jon your use of 'hopefully allow' speaks volumes.
Ryan Dance
Thursday 13th July 2017 at 10:06 pm
Load of old waffle. Usual clap trap. When all the traffic obsessors pedal, walk or use public transport daily....your arguments will have some merit. You are the traffic....or perhaps your journeys don't count...?

As for the other car wash station you keep referring to....assuming you all walk there and count the cars as you admire the chaos? Don't drive there do you? Surely not. No cars on the drive? for fear of congestion...intoxication and hypocritical behaviour.

This place looks like a dump. (As you all know from driving past...yes we all do it as we complain about the traffic in front) It's a car wash, Travis expansion, drive through....or bedrooms for the pub. All of which will add traffic.... i have a wonderfully productive idea for this prime piece of real estate..let it rot! When the traditionalist ..idealistic...anti development mob have passed...we and the millennials will develop it as we see fit!
Oliver Romain
Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 8:51 am
A local car wash is a great use of this site. With high local property prices there is unlikely to be an economically viable plot with room for to accommodate queuing cars at peak periods. Driving past a few queuing cars is hardly the end of the world. Although it would be good if drivers using the site were encouraged to turn off engines when stationary as this would benefit workers and the public.