A CONTROVERSIAL car wash on the main road through Darwen has finally been given permission to operate after five years.

The owners of All Clean, on the junction of Bolton Road and Mill Gap Street, received council approval to continue provided they sort out drainage from the site.

An application was originally submitted in 2007 but subsequently withdrawn, before any decision.

Despite this, the site has been used as a car wash since, apparently without the knowledge of Blackburn with Darwen Council planners.

After the issue was raised by Coun David Foster, council officers spoke to the firm and an application was submitted.

Last week the planning and highways committee gave the firm retrospective approval to continue, provided officers and the company could agree a proper drainage plan to stop water and soap suds washing on to the road in front.

And officials promised Tory spokesman Alan Cottam that they would discuss redesigning the apron for car washing so that liquid stayed in there and was properly drained away, rather than leaking on to the highway.