Car wash landed with legal bill after 'whistling' complaint
A NOISY car wash in Southmead has been left with a hefty legal bill after the high-pitched noise coming from its powerful jet wash sparked complaints from neighbours.
Mario's Car Wash on Pen Park Road was given a noise abatement notice last year after the city council found the volume was above legal levels and causing a nuisance in the area.
But after the business failed to rectify the problem, or cease trading until it had done so, an environmental health officer returned to Southmead on October 6 and took noise readings from the house of a neighbour who had complained.
Prosecuting the failure to comply, Lynne Harvey told Bristol magistrates that the noise from the jet wash had been "clearly audible from within the bedroom".
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She added: "He (the officer) was satisfied the high-pitched noise was at a level that would be disturbing and prevent normal, everyday living."
The court heard by that point the car wash manager Mario Tancos had started to sound proof the business and by December 23, more work had been done on the car wash roof and insulation had been installed, but not completed.
Ms Harvey added yesterday: "I now have indications that the works have been carried out to the satisfaction of the council."
At an earlier hearing, Tancos, 35, had admitted failing to comply with the abatement notice without reasonable excuse.
Mitigating, his solicitor said Tancos had tried to rectify the problem but he needed to keep the business running in the mean time to raise the money to do so.
He said the total cost of the work done was about £5,000, putting the business at a loss of £6,000 during the last financial year.
He said Mario's car wash also employed four other men, and Tancos did not want to deprive them of their jobs.
The magistrates imposed a one-year conditional discharge on Tancos and ordered he pay the investigation and legal costs, which amounted to £728.42.
Presiding magistrate Pete Salt said the bench had taken into account the financial problems, Tancos' early guilty plea and lack of previous convictions.
Mr Salt added: "Despite advice from the council, you failed to address this matter in good time.
"There was a clearly an impact on residents in the local area but we are satisfied that the work has now been done to an appropriate standard."