A BUSINESSMAN could be forced to tear down his car washing enterprise.
A planning inquiry has heard how Matthew James has been running the car wash in Segensworth Road, Titchfield since July.
But a planning application was only submitted after he had already set the site up, including adding two open-sided canopies, a temporary office building and putting down a permanent surface.
Fareham Borough Council rejected the application and has since issued Mr James with an enforcement notice asking him to stop using the land for his business, remove the building and remove the surfacing.
Mr James is out of the country, solicitor Alexander Booth told the inquiry, but he is appealing against the notice.
The council argues the site is within designated countryside and is having an adverse impact on the environment.
According to council policy, any use in this area must either be necessary for agricultural or horticultural reasons, or demonstrate an over-riding need.
Principal planning officer for Fareham, Newrick Martin, said: ‘In this case, it has been concluded that a car wash doesn’t fill any of these uses.’
Mr Martin said the Environment Agency and Southern Water have been investigating claims of water pollution stemming from the car wash.
Mr James has agreed with Hampshire County Council’s highways department to contribute £12,420 towards future infrastructure schemes if he is allowed to keep the car wash.
The site was also used by Mr James over Christmas for a supposedly temporary ice skating rink, again without planning permission, but it is still there.
Mr Martin said the authority was waiting on the outcome of this appeal before deciding how to proceed with the ice rink issue.
The government-appointed inspector, David Leeming, retired to consider his verdict which will be published at a later date.