A Harrogate gym which was reprimanded for operating without planning permission has been given the green light to fully re-open as long as it addresses noise complaints.
Performax Fitness on Chatsworth Road opened in January but had not sought permission from Harrogate Borough Council to change the use of the building from an office to a gym.
The gym received a temporary stop notice in March, limiting its opening hours but residents living nearby told the council that since it had opened the gym had caused constant noise problems.
Resident of Chatsworth Road, Rhiannon Bates, told councillors: “It has been an extremely stressful nine months with highly intrusive music, heavy bass beats, repetitive klaxons and sirens, amplified instructors shouting, it has been a significant disturbance to our lives, including equipment noise, and it has generally been utterly miserable.”
Defending his business at the meeting, owner, Justin O’Halloran said: “For the past ten years I have tried to grow a business which has never been about money, it has been about bringing a positive change to people’s lives.
“I’m trying to educate people that, through fitness, we can alleviate illnesses and things like depression, diabetes and obesity. These are major epidemics in this country and are costing the NHS millions.
Mr O’Halloran said he had lost two thirds of business due to the temporary stop notice but that if he got permission to change the use of the property, he had someone ready to soundproof the building immediately.
The committee approved the application subject to conditions but Coun Nigel Simms expressed dismay at the fact the council would take up to 28 days to assess Mr O’ Halloran’s sound proof plans.
Coun Simms said: “We have got the applicant willing to do it and we have a council wanting to drag its feet for another several weeks. I’m just trying to get a quick outcome for both people.”
Chair of the committee, Coun John Mann said he would personally seek an update in three weeks time.