Inspire Planning Solutions Ltd have successfully obtained planning permission for a new Crossfit style gym in Haslingden, Lancashire! We were approached by our Client due to our experience in leisure and entertainment facilities. He was seeking to provide a specialist fitness class based gym which was not available in the local area and which demanded a certain type of building, namely large floor to ceiling height and an open clear internal space. The daily fitness programmes also required outdoor workouts and therefore the need for safe running routes.
After an extensive search of commercial property lasting many months, a former Victorian Mill Premises located at Ewood Mill was identified. Haslingden, like many former Lancashire cotton towns, has its fair share of old mill buildings and the desire for more modern facilities, which are more suitable to the 21st Century needs of business has meant that a large proportion is vacant. Despite this, Council Planning Policies still seek to ‘protect’ existing employment space and Government policy in the National Planning Policy Framework, are designed to focus uses such as gyms into town centres.
By working proactively with the Local Planning Authority, we were able to effectively deliver our case for this ‘out of centre’ proposal. This included the production of a Sequential Test Assessment, which successfully illustrated the lack of preferable sites within Rossendale, alongside the economic, community and health benefits of the scheme. A Planning Statement was also able to demonstrate the lack of demand of the property for industrial uses, alongside the economic, community and health benefits.
The Council agreed with the case presented, concluding:
“..the proposed use would result in the productive re-use of a vacant unit which is of relatively poor quality in terms of its ability to accommodate modern employment use requirements, and the fact that the proposed use would result in a net employment gain.”
Through close-working with the applicant, we were also able to allay Highway Authority’s concerns in relation to parking and road safety matters. We are very much looking forward to seeing the grand opening in a few months’ time and wish our client every success! To learn more about how Inspire Planning Solutions can assist you to apply for planning, check out our services, speak to Farooq or Thomas or get in touch today.