Exeter Hand Car Wash in Honiton Road OLIVER SANDERS EE230709_OS01_02
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.”