National fitness chain nets planning permission for 24-hour gym in Exmouth

A former Carpetright store in Exmouth can become a 24-hour gym after a national chain’s plans for the building were given the go-ahead.

‘Budget operator’ The Gym had asked East Devon District Council (EDDC) for a change of use at the Liverton Business Park unit.

Proposals include installing a 3,000sq ft mezzanine level to nearly double the space available in the currently-vacant premises.

The fitness hub will create 15 full-time jobs and be open day and night, seven days a week – including bank holidays.

It will feature a wide range of cardio-vascular rowing, running and cycling machines and resistance weights equipment.

Changing rooms, an office, store and entrance lobby would also be created.

“It will provide a new facility for residents and employees that will complement nearby services and facilities,” said the application.

“Music will be limited to provide low-level background music only.”

The Gym Ltd’s application for a change of use of from retail unit to gym/health and fitness centre was granted permission by EDDC officers under delegated powers.

Addition of a mezzanine level would increase the floorspace from 471sq m to 750sq m.

The nearest residential properties are 100 metres away and plans stated: “The Gym has built a successful business model operating 24-hour health and fitness uses and therefore has considerable experience in ensuring that their units operate efficiently and without disruption.

“The Gym operates in over 160 locations with well-established and tried and tested measures to ensure that there is no harmful noise impact or disturbance on surrounding occupiers.

“The operating management procedures will be adopted so that the proposed 24-hour gym use will not adversely impact upon the residential or other uses in the surrounding area.”

The firm says that, in other operations around the country, only 9.29 per cent of visits are made between 11pm and 6am.

The Gym Ltd says it is looking to expand into new locations throughout the UK.

It has 160 similar operations across the country in places such as Bournemouth, Bristol, Exeter, London, Manchester, Plymouth, Reading and Southampton.

The firm describes itself as a ‘budget operator’ which provides ‘a high-quality but cheaper option’ for health and fitness activity.

It says, on average, 35 per cent of its members have not been to a gym before.

Carpetright’s Exmouth store shut last year after the retailer cut 300 jobs and closed a total of 92 outlets across the country.

The site has 17 car parking spaces.

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