Planning Inspector upholds refused planning permission for the car wash in Conservation Area

Published24th January 2024

The Planning Inspector has upheld the decision of the Ipswich Planning Committee to refuse planning permission for the car wash site located at the junction between St Margaret’s Street and St Margaret’s Green and which backs on to properties on Soane Street.

In dismissing the Appeal which relates to application: 22/00836/FUL, the Planning Inspector said that “…There is no doubt that the presence of the unsightly hoarding and the makeshift paraphernalia associated with the use of the site is harmful to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area as it significantly draws the eye from the surrounding historic townscape and has an unkempt and untidy appearance. It also presents a negative and rather hostile impression within the area… …. It significantly detracts and draws the eye from the views of the attractive frontages and architectural detailing of the listed buildings on St Margaret’s Street and St Margaret’s Green.  

In my view it seriously detracts from a key view of the Grade I listed St Margaret’s Church from the road junction at the corner of the appeal site which also has a largely continuous run of listed buildings to either side of the road on the approach to it...” 

Councillor Carole Jones, Ipswich Brough Council Portfolio Holder for Planning, says: “The Planning Inspector has identified that the use of the site as a car wash would result in harm to the designated heritage assets, and that the public benefits would not outweigh this harm on the conservation area and the nearby listed buildings.  

The use of the site as a car wash is now unauthorised and the Local Planning Authority will engage with the owners of the site to make this clear. Where expedient and in the public interest, enforcement action is a tool that the Planning Authority may wish to utilise."