A GALASHIELS gymnasium dealing with potential closure has been saved after a committee voted to overrule the council’s planning officers.
Fitness Refinery, positioned on the Netherdale industrial property, was on the centre of a long-running planning row after a retrospective bid to alter using a unit was refused earlier this yr.
But when Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) native assessment physique met on Monday (October 17), the committee of elected members unanimously permitted the appliance.
Gym proprietor Dania McFarlane mentioned the decision was a “enormous weight” off her shoulders.
She mentioned: “I’m very happy clearly that it has been put via. It’s an enormous weight off my shoulders. I’ll have had the enterprise there for 2 years in November and it could have been a shock having to shut and the members would have been actually upset.”
A change of use bid was submitted for Fitness Refinery – which had been working with out planning approval for a yr – in January.
The software obtained quite a lot of letters of help however was knocked again by SBC planning chiefs over the native authority’s want to guard industrial websites.
Without the most recent backing the council would have launched enforcement motion to shut the premises.
But the committee determined to help the retrospective bid, with a few members referencing the gymnasium subsequent door as a cause for approval.
Tweeddale East councillor Marshall Douglas, of the SNP, mentioned: “On the face of it they’re utilizing industrial premises which might match higher into the realm however there was a precedent within the sense that comparable institutions have been allowed on that web site and elsewhere.
“It’s a longtime enterprise, there are jobs concerned there. I might help the applicant however I might desire a situation that on the finish of their lease it’s reverted to industrial use.”
Hawick councillor Jane Cox, of the Conservatives, mentioned: “It’s an current gymnasium with heaps and many suggestions of people that have used it, that are all very constructive.”
The gymnasium – which has greater than 50 members and helped many via the pandemic – additionally gives help via train to those that have suffered from most cancers.
Tweeddale West councillor Viv Thomson, of the SNP, mentioned: “There’s a thriving enterprise, there are individuals regionally who’re employed they usually’re coaching up one other coach.
“She’s [Ms McFarlane] offering specialist providers.”
Mid Berwickshire councillor Donald Moffat, additionally of the SNP, mentioned: “I don’t agree with the concept it has to return to industrial use afterwards.
“We’ve bought loads of premises throughout the Borders which were left half dilapidated as a result of nobody needs to make use of them.
“I feel if individuals need to use buildings like this they need to be capable to use them.”
A situation that the positioning could be returned to industrial use on the finish of its lease was agreed by members.