Illegal car washes hung out to dry

There’s been a call for an investigation into the operation of illegal car washes in the city, from the Chairman of Lisburn City Council’s Planning Committee.

Councillor Uel Mackin said it had been brought to his attention by some residents that commercial non-automatic car washes may be operating in Lisburn without statutory approval.

The councillor raised the matter at a recent meeting of Lisburn City Council’s Planning Committee, expressing concern about the operating practices of the businesses.

In response, the Senior Planning Officer at the meeting said there are very clear regulations governing car washes and the waste discharge.

“If it is deemed there are businesses trading without approval then a complaint to Planning Service would trigger an investigation,” said Mr Mackin.

“If it is the case that there are rogue traders, I would be very concerned because it places those businesses who have paid considerable amounts of money, as much as £20,000 to £30,000, to ensure that they comply with Statutory Regulation, at a financial disadvantage.

“There appears to be an uneven playing pitch,” he continued. “I am asking that Council Officers instigate a survey of all commercial car wash facilities within the Council area with a view to having these checked for Statutory Compliance.”