Bid to turn former Exmouth carpet store into 24-hour gym gets the go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 14:50 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:50 04 February 2020

The Gym will open a new health and fitness centre at the former Carpetright store in Exmouth. Ref exe 16 18TI 1438. Picture: Terry Ife

The Gym will open a new health and fitness centre at the former Carpetright store in Exmouth. Ref exe 16 18TI 1438. Picture: Terry Ife

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A former carpet store in Exmouth will be transformed into a 24-hour health and fitness centre after plans were given the go-ahead.

The Gym Ltd saw its change-of-use application for the old Carpetright store in Liverton Business Park get the green light from planners at East Devon District Council (EDDC).

The company, which has centres at Exeter's Marsh Barton and Braunton, will kit out the former retail unit and increase its floor space through the inclusion of a mezzanine.

The building had been on the market since August last year, but no prospective retail occupiers came forward.

A planning support statement for the application said: "A large floorplate is required to accommodate the main gym equipment, whilst facilities such as male and female changing rooms, office, entrance lobby and refuse facilities, are required to facilitate the operation.

"The operation includes a range of cardio-vascular (rowing, running, cycling) and resistance (weights) equipment."

As part of the plans, the site will utilise the car park adjacent to the building.

This will provide 17 car parking spaces, with a proportion of disabled parking spaces.

The supporting statement said: "The proposal will deliver new job opportunities and provide enhances local opportunities for the surrounding communities to improved fitness, health and wellbeing."

The application said one of The Gym's principle objectives is providing a 'high' level of security throughout the operation.

The statement added: "Maintaining a friendly welcoming environment and deterring any antisocial behaviour is a priority to both The Gym and its members."

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

The application previously won support from Exmouth Town Council's planning committee.

Speaking at a meeting in November last year, Councillor Fred Caygill said another gym for Exmouth would be 'sustainable', given the town's large population.

He said the council wants to encourage good health and wellbeing in the community.

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