Wash owner claims city council turned against him
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND — Robbie Raggio, a carwash entrepreneur, said the city council here is victimizing him because his family spoke out over car parking charges, The Argus reported.
The Sept. 13 story stated that Raggio lost an appeal against the council. He had appealed an order to close a small car repair workshop he operates in nearby Hove.
Raggio is best known for running a carwash at a railway station, and he opened the car repair business about three years ago. There was existing permission for him to use the site for valeting cars, but the council issued an order last year telling him to stop the on-site repair business.
The city’s planning regulations classified the valet business as “light industrial” while car repair is considered “general industrial.” The difference is that repair work would involve noisy machinery and work.
Raggio noted that there are three mechanics who work at the site, and they had not received any complaints about noise. “This is victimisation. It is ridiculous. The guys there are employing staff locally. The council are stopping it. It is supposed to be a council supporting employment. They are kicking us all the time,” he said in the story.
In response to Raggio’s comments, a council spokeswoman said in the story: “A government inspector agreed with the council’s decision, clearly showing that we were right in taking this action to protect the quality of life of residents living near the premises. Any trader who changes the nature of his business without gaining the relevant planning permission is likely to be served with an enforcement notice. A simple phone call to the council’s planning department would have established that, in this case, permission for change of use was required.”