A gym which was recently issued with the first and only planning enforcement notice of the year so far is seeking to extend its opening hours and open on Bank Holidays.
Transform Together Fitness, which is based in Longueville Road, is applying to vary its hours, which are restricted as a condition of planning permission it received in January 2019.
When the gym was approved for opening then, its hours were limited to 06:45 – 18:45 on Monday to Thursday; 06:45 – 18:00 on Fridays, and 07:30 – 18:00 on Saturdays.
However, last month, the gym was issued with a ‘Breach of Condition’ notice from Planning, which found that these hours were not being complied to.
The notice also said the gym had failed to comply with a condition that it does not open to the public on Sundays or Bank Holidays.
It was given seven days to comply.
Now, the business is seeking permission to vary its opening hours. It wants to open 30 minutes earlier, at 06:15 Monday to Friday, and apply the Saturday opening times to Bank Holidays.
In a letter to Planning, gym co-owner Tom Frame writes: “We’re hoping to change our gym opening times from 06:45 to 06:15. This allows us to appeal to our clientele who wish to train before work and miss the traffic rush.
“This change of time is imperative to the survival of our business, after being closed for eight months due to Covid, we’re playing catch up and the only way for a gym in our location to work is to have a 06:15 morning session. Due to our positioning lunch time classes are not busy enough for our gym to be able to continue to operate.”
Pictured: Transform Together Fitness is along Longueville Road. (Google Maps)
Mr Frame adds that the gym has chained off a parking area to the south of the gym where staff had parked, and found alternative parking for them.
The gym is also appealing against the serving of the enforcement notice, on the grounds that planning permission to vary the hours should be given.
In an accompanying letter to Planning, the gym’s planning consultant writes: “The appellants had been operating from the venue from 06:00 as their clients had desired this and for commercial reasons, the appellants had to operate at this time to continue to survive, what at the time, was a new business and which was hit by Covid shortly after opening."
The gym had previously applied for a 06:00 start in December 2021 but this was refused in April last year and then by the Planning Committee last October.
However, the committee said at the time that an earlier start time could be allowed if a formal application was made, which could have additional conditions attached to it.
This was submitted in February but only validated by Planning on 15 May. The consultant's letter says it hopes that this can be approved before the enforcement appeal is determined.
The gym has said it will open up the south parking from 08:00 and all windows and doors on that side will only be opened after that time, too.
It will also open at 06:15 rather than 06:00, which “shows the appellants’ desire to minimise disruption to nearby residents.”
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