Neighbours' fears over plan for MOT centre at Scarborough's former Manor Road Nurseries

Plans to open an MOT centre on the site of a former nursery in Scarborough has been met with opposition from some local residents who fear the potential noise and disruption from the business.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 1:32 pm

In March, Thompson Property was granted permission to build 14 start-up units on the Manor Road Nurseries land, which was once used to grow bedding plants for the borough by the council’s Parks and Countryside Service.

The site was sold after Scarborough Council moved the service to its Dean Road depot.

Originally the plan had been to use the area for 40 new homes but instead it was changed to the business units with part of the land left empty for a potential future development to be brought forward.

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Business units are available at the former Manor Road Nurseries.

Now, the developer is once again looking to change its plan by merging three of the units together in order to allow an MOT centre with tyre and exhaust fitting to move in.

The application has now been lodged with Scarborough Council.

Local firm Scarborough Car Tech is the intended tenant. It has been operating in Roscoe Street for the past 10 years but has been looking for new premises for the last two years.

In a supporting letter to Scarborough Council, the business states: “We are a forward-thinking company that has evolved through a programme of constant modernisation and training.

“We do have most of the latest equipment to be able to carry out our job safely and to meet the latest standards in terms of health and safety in the working environment.

“Moving to new premises will allow us to be able to modernise our MOT equipment.

“One such improvement we have recently made was to upgrade our air compressor to a ‘super silent rotary screw compressor’, which has not only hugely reduced noise levels within the workshop environment, but it is to the benefit of the locality as a whole.

“This is particularly of benefit to the houses directly opposite our current premises which stand approximately 12m away across a busy road.

“I pride myself on running what I believe to be one of the best-organised workshops in the town.

“All members of staff have contracted hours, which I respect in order that they strike a healthy work-life balance and thus they are never asked to work later/longer hours.

“Our normal ‘non-pandemic’ hours of operation are 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday with 30 minutes lunch break for all staff, with Saturday working 9am to 1pm.”

Ten local residents have objected to the plan. The majority say they fear the added noise and disruption from vehicles and the workshop.

Others also express concern that the original plans were for “smaller” units and that by allowing one to merge it would set a precedent for other larger businesses to come in.

One objector wrote: “An MOT centre will no doubt cause more noise and pollution than the alternative, affecting all nearby residents as well as users of the bowling green who expect a quiet peaceful area.

“Not only that but there is bound to be an increase in traffic.

“We initially did not object to the planning permission for 14 small units on the basis that they would be small units restricted to a specific use.”

A number of objectors state that it would increase the amount of traffic on a busy road but Highway Authority has not raised any concerns about the change of use.

The plans are out for consultation.