Claims 'intrusive' CCTV cameras look through woman's bedroom window as plans for Castleford car wash rejected

Plans to build a hand car wash and garage have been rejected, amid claims "intrusive" CCTV cameras from the site point into a neighbour's bedroom.

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 5:26 pm

A local businessman, Manish Nakra, had sought planning permission to develop an old office and storage site belonging to developers Waystones, off Colorado Way in Castleford.

But councillors knocked the car wash idea back after fears around traffic and "intrusion" into the privacy of a resident living nearby were raised.

The proposed site lies just half a mile along the road from Xscape and the Junction 32 shopping outlet.

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The meeting was told that cameras had been put up on the Colorado Way site

Wakefield Council officers had suggested the scheme be approved and three letters of support from members of the public said the site would create jobs.

But 43 letters of objection were submitted in advance of the decision at a public planning meeting on Thursday.

One of the objectors, neighbour Wendy McLoughlin, told the committee that the applicant was currently using the site to accommodate taxis and that he'd recently put up floodlights accompanied by six CCTV cameras.

She said: "Three of the cameras face away from my building, but the other three - one in particular - faces my house directly.

The proposed site is located just half a mile away from Xscape.

"Because the cameras are raised, if I open my blinds in my rear bedroom, the camera looks directly into my window.

"That feels like an absolute intrusion.

"I understand people want to keep their properties secure, but having three cameras looking directly into my bedroom is really intrusive."

Neither the applicant or anyone else spoke in support of the plans at Thursday's meeting, or to address objectors' comments.

Committee member Coun Stuart Heptinstall said he was concerned that residents' privacy had been breached.

It was claimed that the floodlights had been put up without the required approval and that the authority's enforcement team may look into the matter separately.

Committee member Councillor Stuart Heptinstall expressed concern over the issue.

"What if this developer doesn't take the (cameras) down?" he told the meeting.

"I'm minded to not vote in favour of this on the basis that a resident's privacy has been invaded.

"It's not just this lady whose privacy has been invaded, but other neighbours as well.

"I think the developer knows what he's doing. He's put these up in the first place and he's waiting for us to tell him to take them down.

"That's a waste of everyone's time and money."

Fears were also expressed that cars queuing up to use the car wash would clog up Colorado Way.

Council officers claimed the garage's impact on traffic would be minimal and that the site itself would have plenty of space for vehicles waiting for service.

But that view was disputed by several members of the committee.

Councillor Kevin Swift said that the fact 27 different conditions could be attached to the venture if it was approved, suggested the development was a bad idea.

He said: "I think there's an expectation here that this business would spill out onto the road.

"The very fact we're talking about putting these sticking plaster-type conditions on - we ought to perhaps start thinking about whether it's the right place for this business.

"If you're talking about 27 conditions, you need to start thinking about rejecting it."

Councillors voted eight to four in favour of refusing planning permission.

Local Democracy Reporting Service