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PureGym to move into former Halfords unit in Dover

A former Halfords store in Dover is to be transformed into a 24-hour gym with thousands of members.

Plans to turn the empty unit in Granville Street into a PureGym have been given the green light – despite a number of concerns from residents.

Dover's former Halfords is set to become the town's first PureGym
Dover's former Halfords is set to become the town's first PureGym

The fitness site will be open 24/7, with the company aiming to provide a facility for shift workers who may not be able to train during the day.

It will sit next to the former Carpetright unit which is to be filled by the Maison Dieu Veterinary Group after plans were green lit by Dover District Council (DDC) in October.

The council approved the development in a meeting last week, despite a number of concerns from residents over noise, parking and antisocial behaviour.

Writing a letter of objection, John Crowson said: "I am very concerned here about excess parking spillover into the local area with such high levels of membership.

"Also, the excess levels of noise have not been properly modelled and considered, especially with the movement of so many people at night and the noise from the aircon units all night.

Residents cited concerns over parking and noise in the local area
Residents cited concerns over parking and noise in the local area

"There will no doubt be an increase in antisocial behaviour at times that would be scary to older residents. This has not been properly addressed."

Charlton Green resident Gordon Hay said that while he was "happy that a company is looking at using this building", he also had concerns about the noise and the parking situation.

"Where I live, we have already had problems with Post Office workers making it difficult to exit our garage," he added.

At the council planning meeting, a representative for PureGym addressed the noise concerns that residents had submitted.

"We received a number of comments about potential noise, and we have worked with the council to ensure that these issues have been resolved," she said.

Concerns over parking were dismissed at a planning meeting
Concerns over parking were dismissed at a planning meeting

"PureGym does operate from many residential areas, including below residential units, without issue."

At the meeting, the issue of parking was only raised to ensure there was provision of covered cycle storage, while the possibility of electric vehicle charging points was discussed but dismissed.

In consultation, Kent County Council highways officials say there was no reason to refuse the change of use on the grounds of parking.

"There are no highway implications associated with the proposals," the agency's director explained.

"The applicant has demonstrated parking provision for 62 vehicles, which exceeds the minimum requirement of 50.

The new PureGym – Dover's first – will create 15 jobs
The new PureGym – Dover's first – will create 15 jobs

"I can confirm the surrounding roads to the proposed development have existing parking restrictions. Given the on-street restrictions controlling the ability to park on the highway it is not considered that parking associated with the development will have an impact on highway safety."

When construction is completed, PureGym says the new facility will bring 15 part- and full-time jobs to the area, as well as being the town's first facility under the chain.

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