Wirral planning officers have recommended approval of a scheme that will see the vacant upper storey of the Curve on Telegraph Road and the Mount transformed into a 24/7 health and fitness centre incorporating a gym.
Heswall Today described the plans for the unit back in February. It was previously occupied by a branch of Taskers, shut down in January last year when the company got into difficulties and restructured its business.
Approval of the application by H W Fitness Ltd. has been proposed despite some local objections. 26 were made, along with a petition of 143 signatures.
Concerns raised include:
- The premises will be open 24 hours a day – which will impact on residents in Castle Drive and The Mount.
- There will be late night noise and light from the premises.
- Very few members will use the gym throughout the night, so why is there a need to be open 24 hours?
- Adverse effects on the amenity of local residents.
- Severe parking congestion along Castle Drive.
- Expecting residents to have to suffer disturbance every night of the week at all times is unacceptable.
- A third gym within the same small area is unnecessary.
- Highway safety issues.
- Cars using the elevated car park will shine bright lights into domestic windows and gardens.
In response, planning officers concluded that the number of customers visiting the premises will not be sufficiently high to impact on residents.
They took on board H W Fitness’ statement that the core hours of the gym will be 5am to 8am and 5pm to 8pm, concluding that, as these are outside the town centre’s core hours, there will be adequate street parking to accommodate any overspill from the Curve’s elevated parking area, and therefore no adverse effects for residents. H W Fitness has also agreed to place on site signage urging customers not to park on nearby residential streets.
Planners also noted that the location of the Curve is no stranger to late night businesses like bars, restaurants and take-aways, and that a new gym would not add to any noise, disturbance or anti-social behaviour.
That said, planning consent will require HW Fitness to “submit a good scheme of sound insulation to provide protection against both airborne and impact noise created in the premises.”
In conclusion the planners state: “The proposal will result in a development which has a positive impact upon the local community and does not harm the amenities of neighbouring properties or the character of the area. The proposal will bring a vacant building back into use.”
Wirral Council’s Planning Committee meets on Thursday May 30 to consider the recommendation.