Hereford-based drive-thru developer, Mersenne Developments Ltd, submitted plans to build on the site of the former Apollo Hotel in Hucknall Lane in January this year.
It revealed proposals to build a Greggs outlet on the site, which features a drive-thru, alongside a Subway and a tanning salon.
Residents in Hucknall Lane, Ventura Drive and Saxondale Court were consulted and a number of objections were submitted.
Residents feared “rat infestations” and noise issues, prompting several alterations, including changes to the operating hours.
Despite the changes, Nottingham City Council’s planning committee chose to defer the plans on June 21, having raised the issue of potential pollution.
Cllr Graham Chapman (Lab) said: “I have got a serious problem with the scheme.
“Engines are going to be ticking over in a way which, if it were on a public highway, it would be illegal.
“And they are going to be doing it in close proximity to people’s houses.”
Cllr Chapman also described the architecture as “corporate and very shed-like”.
The former Apollo Hotel, which operated as a pub, was demolished in 2012.
A hand car wash was later put on the site but the business owner’s temporary consent to run it expired, leading to issues with the local authority at the time.
The applicant sought to quash concerns by changing operating hours.
Planning documents said: “The applicant has recently amended their proposed hours of operation from 06:30 to 23:00 Monday to Saturday, to 07:00 to 22:00 Monday to Saturday.
“Sundays and Bank Holidays are unchanged, being proposed as 08:00 to 20:00.”
Council planning officers said the concerns over pollution had to be held in regard to what has already existed on the site.
Council officer Martin Hall said the site, when it existed as a car wash, typically “had a significant turnover of traffic”.
He also said many modern cars now have an automatic stop-and-start function to limit the time the engine is left on and idling.
However, Cllr Sam Harris (Lab), who said he once worked in a drive-through, added: “I agree this is a site that needs development and needs an opportunity for job creation to boost the local economy.
“There is no dispute with that.
“My concerns are that we talk about the site being utilised previously with intense traffic use, but don’t know how many times you drive past a car wash and it being one in, one out and there being queues in and out?
“As someone who has worked in this industry, the traffic levels are incredible. It is an arterial road there, with lots of people passing by and driving through.
“To say it is in line with what previously utilised [the site] isn’t comparable.
“I am a big lover of pubs as well, and I don’t often know of cars queuing up to get in to pubs or drive-through pints. I don’t think it is comparable.”
Environmental Health had not raised any concerns, according to planning documents.
Councillors opted to defer the plans on the basis of air quality, sustainability and architecture.
They will now return to the planning committee in the future pending further work in these areas.