Residents in Mirfield say they are being plagued by a car wash business near their homes.

People living in Ebor Gardens say Elite Hand Car Wash in Huddersfield Road is causing a noise nuisance.

They also claim the firm is operating outside its permitted hours, opening earlier and finishing later.

Some gardens directly overlook the car wash and valeting business and residents say the near constant drone of hose jets and power vacuums is driving them to distraction.

One of the residents, Raymond Mosby, 69, said neighbours were often forced indoors by the noise.

“There is a constant droning at times,” said Mr Mosby. “It can start at 8.30am on a Sunday and go on all day.”

One of Mr Mosby’s neighbours can’t enjoy her carefully-tended garden anymore. “I can’t sit out and at times I’ve just got fed up and had come in,” she said.

The view from a back garden in Ebor Gardens, Mirfield, which overlooks Elite Hand Car Wash below in Huddersfield Road. Residents have complained of noise nuisance.
The view from a back garden in Ebor Gardens, Mirfield, which overlooks Elite Hand Car Wash below in Huddersfield Road. Residents have complained of noise nuisance.
 

“Now I’ve bought a personal CD player to drown out the noise.”

Neighbours say the hand wash opened in 2008 but it wasn’t until January, 2012 that planning permission was granted for a change of use from a car sales pitch.

Permission was granted with conditions restricting the opening hours to 9am-6pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays and bank holidays. According to planning documents the conditions were imposed to “prevent noise disturbance to neighbouring residential properties.”

Last year two valeting bays were built and the sound of the vacs drifted across the road towards residents’ homes.

Residents claim the car wash opens as early as 8.30am on a Sunday and may not close until 6pm.

“Even when they put the cones out to stop cars going in they can still be vacuuming cars in the valeting bays,” said Mr Mosby.

Residents have complained to Kirklees Council’s planning enforcement department and are keeping a log of complaints for the noise nuisance team, which is investigating.

The Examiner has seen e-mails which show that a council noise officer drove into the car wash at 5.45pm on a Sunday – an hour and 45 minutes after it should have closed – and before he could introduce himself his car wheels had been sprayed!

Residents also say a giant inflatable ‘tubeman’ has been put up at the car wash entrance without permission; a guard dog barks at all hours of the day and night; and in winter floodlights shine into homes.

Mr Mosby said neighbours felt Kirklees planners had let them down. “It is six years since this car wash opened and we feel we are back to square one,” he said.

Residents have called in Mirfield Tory councillor Kath Taylor, who said: “It seems the residents have had a bit of a nightmare.

“When I went to see the residents the noise was unbelievable and on a lovely summer’s day you can’t sit in your own garden. I am taking this up with the council.”

Car wash owner Azhi Lazin Sheko, 36, of Huddersfield Road, Liversedge, was convicted of a breach of the Town and Country Planning Act in May this year.

He was fined £250 and ordered to pay £500 costs and a £25 victim surcharge by Kirklees magistrates.

A council spokesman said: “We successfully prosecuted the site owner in May for operating outside the hours stipulated in the planning permission, and as a result creating noise nuisance at unreasonable times.

“We are aware of on-going breaches of the planning permission on the site and are gathering more evidence. If it is justifiable, we will look at prosecuting the site owner again.”

An Examiner reporter visited the car wash but Mr Sheko was not there. The reporter left a business card and was given a mobile number said to be for Mr Sheko.

When we called the number it was answered by a man who said his name was “Shaun” of Elite Car Sales, a separate business on the same site.

Shaun said he didn’t have a number for Mr Sheko but he would pass a message on.

We left a voicemail later but Mr Sheko did not return our calls.