Plans to create an automated carwash with six electric vehicle charging points on an unused island of land near the Novotel hotel have been refused. 

It was proposed in May that the ‘island site’ in Grey Friars Road, close to the College Street roundabout and the Cardinal Park East car park, could become a car wash. 

The application submitted to Ipswich Borough Council suggested creating six charging points for electric vehicles, as well as two additional parking bays.  

A transport statement prepared by the Manchester-based SK Transport Planning Limited explained that the car wash would be prepared to enable “anti-clockwise vehicular access” to the site, to accommodate the one-way system. To access the site, it explained, all vehicles would use the cul-de-sac section of Grey Friars Road.  

Ipswich Star: The site where the proposed car wash would have been is shown in red. Image: Google MapsThe site where the proposed car wash would have been is shown in red. Image: Google Maps (Image: Google Maps)

SK Transport Planning estimated that the busiest time of day for the car wash would be between 12pm and 2pm, with vehicles arriving at the site every six minutes. It said that 154 vehicles would visit the site daily. 

The statement concluded that the car wash would have “minimal impact” on the surrounding area. 

However, Ipswich Borough Council refused permission for the car wash on August 1, citing concerns about the effect it would have on air quality. 

The air quality of College Street, Star Lane, Fore Street and Grimwade Street is already being monitored.  

The council said: “Whilst the proposed electric vehicle charging bays are noted […] no details are provided as to increased emissions from the 154 additional trips, and it is likely that a substantial proportion of these will be from traditional diesel or petrol vehicles.” 

With a car arriving at the car wash every six minutes, it argued there would inevitably be a degree of queuing and “engine idling”. 

It also raised concerns over the design of the car wash, which it said would “contrast to the more substantial buildings surrounding the site”.