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Exeter planners unhappy at car wash

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: July 27, 2009

Exeter Hand Car Wash in Honiton Road OLIVER SANDERS EE230709_OS01_02

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A BUSINESSMAN has defended his  decision to set up a car wash on the  site of a derelict city petrol station,  despite having no planning consent.
Alan Guno, 40, has opened Exeter  Hand Car Wash and a vehicle sales  area at the former Texaco garage in  Honiton Road.
According to Exeter City Council  it has not received any planning  application for the  new businesses  on the site.  The land  does,  however,  have permission for six  flats, two  maisonettes,  two semi-detached  homes  and parking, which  was  granted in August 2008.
Mr Guno, who has run similar car  washes in London, has leased the  former garage  from South West  Communications.
 He said he is employing about five  local people at the car wash.
 “There used to be a car wash here  when the garage was running,” he  said. “What I am doing is the same as  it was in the past and the site is being  used, which is important.”
A city council spokesman said:  “We have not had an application for  the use of the site for a car wash or  car sales. Both would require planning permission.
 “We have just received a complaint from a member of the public  about these uses and will therefore  be investigating.
“We have also  had no indication  from the applicant  of a likely start  date.”
 A South West Communications  spokesman said the site had been  leased out and that responsibility to  have the correct paperwork was that  of the tenant.
“I will have to enquire about the  planning permission as that is the  responsibility of the tenant,” he  said.
“If anyone is taking a shortcut,  then appropriate action will be taken.”
He declined to discuss the terms of  the lease as they were confidential  between the two parties.
Neighbours revealed the car wash  had raised local concerns.
 One resident, who did not want to  be named, said: “The traffic is already bad in Honiton Road and this  will make it worse.”
Father-of-two Daniel Walls, 32,  who lives next door, said: “I would  rather it be used than left derelict.”

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    Kieram, Exeter  |  July 27 2009, 8:48PM

    Whether it's an eyesore or not, it's a business. And I'm all for local business. By the way Tony Tan, are you the person that has spray painted "Tony Tan", "Tony Tan City Fan", and similar slogans all over St. Thomas? That's far more of an eyesore.

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    Tony Tan, st thomas exeter  |  July 27 2009, 1:17PM

    I Agree one hundred per cent lance.you are spot on it is an eyesore.and fair play to mr guno very enterprising. but i do think the arch in Heavitree is well worth the money and a work of art. would love to see something original like that in my beloved st thomas.

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    alan, exeter (home of derelict forecourts)  |  July 27 2009, 12:23PM

    what a fuss ! at least the guy has tidied the place up and is creating jobs for people,what do the planners want,eyesores full of squatters etc ?

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    Lance Higgins, Broadfields  |  July 27 2009, 12:19PM

    Thanks Mr Guno for tidying up the dangerous eyesore that was the old Gallows Service Station. It's been an embarrassment for years (on a main route into the city). The councillor who refers to the proposed development on Alphington Road as an eyesore should note that the worst eyesore is derelict industrial land. Maybe they should think of the construction and retail jobs instead of their utopian aesthetic views. The council should maybe ask the people want they actually want for a change instead of wasting our money on white elephants like the Heavitree arch.

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    John, Exeter  |  July 27 2009, 11:06AM

    Hold on - they haven't refused permission - nor should they - but they've responded to complaints and quite rightly ask that permission be properly sought. That way they can put on any necessary conditions - such as operating times.

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    Adrian Bick, mounts bay Penzance  |  July 27 2009, 9:45AM

    We have one quite near me they allways seem to be busy. wish i had thought of it myself.

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    Chris, Exeter  |  July 27 2009, 9:43AM

    Its good to see the site being used. Mr Guno should have obtained planning consent. Having said that it was a garage and is now being used as a ...........Garage! just not selling petrol. Hardly a major planning issue. It seems Exeter council would rather see derilict sites than them being used for appropriate busiesses. Good luck to Mr Guno

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    MR G DAWE, MILLBROOK DEVON  |  July 27 2009, 9:13AM