Ellon car wash granted approval

The car park of a former Ellon bank will soon become the new home of a car wash despite fears customers could create traffic chaos in the town centre.
The site of the new Ellon car washThe site of the new Ellon car wash
The site of the new Ellon car wash

Ahmet Dogan applied to Aberdeenshire Council last summer in a bid to create the facility behind the old TSB on Bridge Street.

The application previously went before the Formartine area committee in January but members asked for a site visit before making a final decision.

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They were worried that the narrow lane leading to the site could cause vehicles to queue at the top of Station Road, causing traffic to come to a standstill.

The car wash will be in operation all week, with cleaning to be carried out by two members of staff who will use an electric pressure washer.

Up to five vehicles could be on site at a time, with up to 50 washes completed per day if fully booked.

Mr Dogan owns the flats above the former bank, which closed to customers for the final time in April 2022.

Meanwhile, the bank itself could become a hot food takeaway under separate plans.

Sava Estates initially wanted to turn the building into a restaurant but the proposal was withdrawn last summer.

A gate will be in place that will be open while the business is in operation, but closed out of hours.

However, tenants of the flats will get a key to access the area and will have permission to use the private parking area.

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Agent Michael Ritchie said the facility’s central location would give customers the opportunity to spend time in the town centre and visit the local businesses.

But five residents had objected to the plan, raising concerns it would create additional traffic that could queue up onto Station Road.

Ythan Community Council was also opposed to the car wash and believed it needed to be placed in a more industrial area instead.

The application went before the committee for a second time recently.

Councillor Louise McAllister, who had asked for the site visit, said she still had some underlying concerns but had been persuaded to give the plan the go-ahead.

She said:” Inviting a business into the town centre is going to be a positive move, especially when we have so many vacant sites.”

Meanwhile fellow councillor Isobel Davidson said a recent car valet experience she had in Inverurie helped her come to a decision.

She explained: “I spent two hours wandering about, I had lunch and went into various shops.

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“It would be good to have something similar in Ellon and it has the potential to improve footfall.”

But councillor Gillian Owen felt the car wash would make existing traffic problems in the narrow lane worse.

She explained: “The gates being closed because of the closure of the Virgin Money bank is exacerbating the issue because cars are driving down and having to do a U-turn.

“I accept the business would be welcome but the lane is an issue.”

While councillor Anne Stirling suggested it was a “very positive thing to have but it’s the wrong site”.

However, following a vote the application was approved by eight to four.