Concerns have been raised by parish councillors over the impact of a car wash that started operating in a coastal village earlier this year.
And the bid to seek planning permission for the venture in Lynemouth has been deferred.
The retrospective change of use application from petrol station to car wash for the facility on Albion Terrace was made by Dinesh Kohli.
According to the planning officers’ report, the petrol station use ‘appears to have ceased over 20 years ago with recent use appearing to be a retail shop upon the land’.
Lynemouth Parish Council vice chairman Tom Dunn said it ‘objects in the strongest possible terms to this application’ at a meeting of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council.
He added: “There are more eminently suitable locations for such an operation, such as the Lynefield business park or Ellington Business Centre.
“There are occasions when we’ve seen a concoction of pollutant detergents running down the street like a river.”
The officers’ report said that the applicant provided details confirming that three screens would be situated upon the cleaning area within the centre of the site.
It adds: ‘It is acknowledged that some spray may still reach the footpaths surrounding the site, however given the height of the proposed screens (two metres), it is considered that the impact of spray escaping to the boundaries of the site would be significantly reduced’.
Members of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council, a county council committee, asked officers about the enforcement powers the local authority has if concerns continue to be raised about drainage and overspray onto the nearby footpath.
They were told it was likely that trade effluent consent would be required, but this process would be handled by Northumbrian Water and it would be up to this organisation to take any action against the car wash.
However, when it came to a vote, a majority of members agreed with a proposal to defer the bid to ask for more details about plans to deal with surface water.