A TROWBRIDGE car wash owner claims local residents are trying to shut down his business by complaining to Wiltshire Council about his operation.

Sukhwinder Dhaliwal says if the car wash behind the Ship Inn in Frome Road is closed more than six people would lose their jobs and livelihoods.

He is currently negotiating with the council after it refused his latest planning application to extend his opening hours and intensify his operation.

But local residents are celebrating after Wiltshire Council’s refused to allow Mr Dhaliwal to erect two sheds for the car wash and valeting operation and extend the opening hours to seven days a week.

People living near the car wash say noise from high-powered pressure washers, industrial vacuum cleaners and car doors being opened and shut is disturbing their enjoyment of their environment and amenities.

They claimed that cigarette butts and take-away food packaging was being thrown or blown into their gardens and that spray from the pressure washers was soaking clothes hung out to dry.

Mike Corcoran, of 56A and 56B Newtown, said: “It was only a few short months ago that the applicants applied for virtual 24/7 working in the area.

“Despite objections and refusal they are now back again asking for extra working hours plus an industrial scale operation with buildings.”

Jackie Foster and her partner Mr A Neate, of 57 Newtown, said: “Not long ago we successfully opposed plans for longer opening hours, so we were quite shocked to see that once again it has been asked for!

“It has been so much better since more respectful opening hours have been in place, we can enjoy evenings in our garden and also weekends, with the peace and quiet, without the noise of not only their equipment but also them shouting at each other! Due to that noise I am unable to allow my dogs to roam the garden as they bark at the shouting.

“With weekends being cut short on opening hours it allows me to put my washing on the line without it getting sprayed on by the pressure washers they use behind my fence.”

Dieter Eichhorn of 59 Newtown, said: “The fact that the current owners keep applying for 7-day trading as well as bank holidays displays a lack of regard to their neighbours’ right to enjoy some quiet time.

“In our view, 50 hours a week is already too much. My wife works shifts and is never able to enjoy our garden on her weekdays off. I also leave our house at 5.30am and return around 4pm but need to wait until after 6pm for it to be quiet.”

David Pringle, of 60 Newtown, said: “This has had a significant and entirely positive impact upon our lives; we can now look forward to a reasonable amount of guaranteed ‘quiet time’, most particularly at weekends, when we know there will be no activity on the site. This time of year the added advantages of quiet evenings in the week are also a joy.”

Trowbridge Town Council had objected to the scheme, saying the proposed buildings would adversely affect the setting of the nearby Newtown conservation area, as well as detract from the street scene of Frome Road, one of the principal routes into Trowbridge.

Lance Allen, the Trowbridge Town Council chief executive, said: “The proposed increase in the hours of operation would have an adverse impact on the amenities of nearby residents arising from the activities on site.”

Currently, the car wash is only allowed to operate from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturday. It is not allowed to operate on Sunday or Bank Holidays. This gives residents time to relax in their homes and gardens without having any background noise from the car wash operations.

But Mr Dhaliwal wants to extend his opening hours from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 6pm on Sunday and Bank Holidays – an extra 25 hours a week.

Mr Dhaliwal said: “We have the support of our customers and this is reflected through a petition of more than 1,000 customers who support the car wash remaining open and operating seven days a week.

“Customers have commented that if the car wash was to close there is no other large hand car wash for them to use in Trowbridge.

“We feel it is important that Wiltshire Council think about the impact on the business, people’s jobs and the community having car wash facilities. We are trying to provide a service to members of the community.

“There is another car wash on Bradley Road which is open seven days a week from 8am-8pm, which uses jet washes outside and residents are living even closer to this car wash. However, this business continues to operate without any issues.”