“I’m going nowhere!” This is the response of a Spalding car wash owner after being given just days to quit his business.
Mohamed Soucho, who opened the car wash in Double Street two years ago, has lost an appeal against a decision by South holland District Council not to renew planning permission.
I’ve done everything asked of me to reduce any impact on the neighbourhood
But after consulting his barrister and spurred on by the support he has received from customers, he says he has no intention of shutting down - and his neighbours are backing him all the way.
Mr Soucho was served with a notice to quit his business on Thursday, October 15.
He said: “I’m going nowhere. I’ve spoken to my barrister and we are going to carry on fighting.
“The site has always had some link with cars - before this it was a workshop with noisy engines.
“I’ve done everything asked of me to reduce any impact on the neighbourhood.
“I was asked to wash the cars undercover at the back away from the houses and only polish near the front and I did that.
“It’s cost me more than £70,000 to meet requirements, putting in a new roof and water channels so the cars could be washed under cover.
“All of my money has gone into this. Only one person is against me who doesn’t even live down here.
“There’s even been a petition to help me that 79 people signed.”
A report to South Holland Council’s planning committee stated: “The inspector considered the use of the property as a car washing and valeting service has been unacceptably harmful on living conditions of adjacent residents, and that a permanent planning permission should not be granted.
“The Inspector was unconcerned with the impact on the conservation area.”
Among the neighbours supporting Mr Soucho are Robert and Sonja Thomson who live opposite. Mr Thomson said: “You call this a democracy? No-one living here is against the car wash.
“Mohamed is hardworking and an important member of the community. He even stopped someone breaking into a house opposite.”
Mrs Thomson added: “He even takes in our parcels when we are out.
“Everyone wants him to stay, something should be done to support him.”