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Darwen car wash plan blocked
THE blocking of controversial plans for a car wash in the Whitehall area of Darwen by the council has been upheld by a government inspector.
In April, the planning committee turned down the scheme for a second time, despite the proposals being redrawn.
Three months later, the applicant, Lookman Patel, appealed to the government’s planning inspectorate in Bristol.
Now, it has been decided Blackburn with Darwen Council’s decision to block the scheme was reasonable and correct in planning law.
The inspector’s decision delighted residents who petitioned against the scheme and Whitehall ward councillors David and Karimeh Foster who campaigned against it.
Mr Patel wanted to set up the new business on a vacant plot of land at the junction of Whitehall Street and Cemetery Road.
The plot was previously used as a car sales pitch, but that ceased trading in January 2009.
The car wash would have provided one full-time and one part-time job, and the business would have been open from 8am to 7pm, seven days a week.
The council refused the planning application on grounds that it would create traffic problems in the area and failed to provide adequate parking for staff and customers.
Coun David Foster said: ”Local residents will be pleased with the news. This was a totally inappropriate site for a car wash and would have caused safety problems at a dangerous junction. It is good that the planning inspector agreed with our council officers and refused the appeal.”
Borough highways boss Maureen Bateson said: “I am pleased that the planning inspectorate upheld our original decision against this car wash planning application.”
Whitehall residents, 66 of whom signed a petition opposing the car wash, and their two Liberal Democrat councillors were concerned it would hamper access to existing industrial units and reduce parking for houses in Whitehall Street.
They feared it would lead to increased parking on the A666 Bolton Road at a busy junction near a bus stop.
The councillors also feared problems with drainage and flooding.
Khalid Khan, of Khalid Khan and Associates, who acts on behalf of Mr Patel, was on holiday and unavailable for comment yesterday.
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