Submitted by Editor on Fri, 07/12/2018 - 15:47


Waves Consultancy Ltd seeks planning permission to construct and operate a hand car wash and valeting service in the basement car park of Tesco, at 7 Broughton Road (Ref. 18/09592/FUL).

Its plan includes the erection of a canopy and the stationing of a cabin with associated signage. Either nine or 12 parking spaces will be used for the purpose, depending on which part of the Design and Access statement you believe.

Customers will be able to stay in their cars during the process, or go shopping whilst Waves staff take care of the whole sudding palaver.

How loud is not noisy?

According to an acoustics report commissioned by Waves from RPS , ‘A typical Waves car wash facility generates a [maximum] noise level of between 77.1 and 80.1 dB(A) of sound pressure at source depending on the combination of plant and equipment items in use’ (jetwash and compressor, vacuum cleaner, submersible water recycling pump). Online sources suggest this is less loud than the dialling tone of a standard UK telephone. Which seems unlikely to a lay ear.

Waves says, ‘We do not believe that there will be a material increase in noise and disturbance from the site …. The proposed hours of operation reflect the standard operating hours of a retail outlet.’

Waves has offered to commission a site-specific noise survey if requested to do so, and asserts that its equipment and drainage would be environmentally compliant.

Transport surveys at 13 existing Waves hand car washes found that only 11 per cent of customers came exclusively for a wash and brush-up. The rest were also using an adjacent supermarket or filling station. Waves’ assessment therefore is that the impact on vehicle movements to and from the car park would be ‘negligible’.

Any comments should be made in writing or HERE by 24 December.

Know nothing? Ask questions

Spurtle is unqualified to comment on allegations that hand car wash operations are often associated with exploitative employment practices. We therefore offer no comment on that. Waves’ website advises would-be franchise partners, ‘Your ability to maximise profit is dependent on how you motivate, control and reward your staff.’

Spurtle is also unqualified to offer advice on acoustic science. However, it would do local residents no harm to seek a site-specific acoustic assessment in case of unforeseen reverberative effects in the basement car park. Greater clarity would also be helpful on the precise operating hours being sought.

[Image above: Wikipedia, creative commons]