Huge fine for Cobham car wash that failed to clean up its act

First published in News Your Local Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A car wash in Cobham which failed to comply with planning conditions will have to pay more than £9,000.

A breach of condition notice was served to the owner of the land, Claremont Court Investments ltd, after the car wash, in the car park adjacent to 46 Portsmouth Road, was found to be operating outside of its conditions.

The site was granted planning permission in 2008 and was prohibited from mechanical washing and vacuuming, and motorised cleaning equipment was not allowed to be used, to protect neighbours from disturbance.

All equipment was also required to be cleared away on a daily basis. After a number of complaints the car wash was not adhering to its planning conditions, a breach of condition notice was issued to the land owner in 2009.

Last year, Elmbridge Council received further complaints that the conditions were not being adhered to once again.

Council officers carried out an investigation and also found a number of illegal advertisements for the car wash being displayed on the site and criminal proceedings were initiated.

A further breach of condition notice was served to the operator of the car wash, Rahman Istrefi.

Claremont Court Investments ltd and Mr Istrefi attended Staines Magistrates Court on July 25, where he pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a breach of condition notice.

Istrefi was fined £750 for failing to comply with a breach of condition notice and ordered to pay Elmbridge Council’s costs of £2,385.92, as well as a £75 as a victim surcharge fee.

Claremont Court Investments Ltd was also found guilty and fined £1,500 for not complying with the breach of condition notice.

The company was also fined £1,500 for illegal advertising at the site, ordered to pay £3,405.93 of costs to the council and a £15 victim surcharge fee.

Councillor Mary Sheldon, portfolio holder for regulatory affairs, said: “I hope the outcome of this court case will serve as a strong reminder to all developers, residents and businesses within the borough that planning rules exist for a reason and that failure to comply with them can have serious consequences.”

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