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Carpetright in Park Farm Industrial Estate in Folkestone could become PureGym

By Molly Mileham-Chappell

A former shop on an industrial estate could be converted into a gym.

PureGym group has put in a bid to the district council for a new health and exercise facility on Park Farm Road in Folkestone.

If the plan is given the go ahead, it will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Carpetright in Folkestone. Credit: Google Maps (5578467)
Carpetright in Folkestone. Credit: Google Maps (5578467)

The site used to be occupied by Carpetright.

An assessment for alternative venues was carried out across the town but no other suitable venues were established in the town or Cheriton and Hawkinge.

The site has parking for 112 cars which is considered enough for the potential new use of the site, according to the application.

A mezzanine floor would be built into the building if the use is changed from retail unit to a gym use and it is expected to create more than a dozen jobs.

In the planning application, agent Peter Brett Associates said: “We note that there are a number of existing gym facilities within and outside of Folkestone town centre, mainly independent operations with the exception of the Bannatyne Health Club which is in an out of town centre location to the west of the application site.

“As such, any impacts on would be spread across a number of existing destinations and impacts on any in-centre facilities would be limited.

“Fewer members would use the gym at the weekend, when neighbouring retail facilities are likely to be at their busiest.”

The application so far has received several responses on the council's website.

Kia Krzyszka wrote: “Surely the flow of traffic needs to be taken into account here due to the current bottleneck at peak morning and evening times plus the risk to school leavers at peak time due to a massive increase of traffic.

“Having this amount of traffic hitting this area at one time will be in manageable on that site. Being 24-hour will not alleviate this as gyms are busy predominately mornings and evenings at peak traffic times.”

Sophie Mort said: “This property is registered as A1, so should stay as a retail unit.

"There is a need for out of town retail and that is why Park Farm was built. There should not be a change of use for the property.

"There are insufficient car parking spaces for the number of people who would use the gym.”

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