Posted: Mon 3rd Apr 2023

Flintshire Council rejects plans for new gym and community hub

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Apr 3rd, 2023

Plans for a new gym and community hub in Sealand that would have been visited by Team GB athletes has been refused by Flintshire Council.

The authority’s planning department has rejected an application from non-profit organisation Sports for Champions UK to change the use of a unit on Drome Road to create a fitness centre, café and barber.

Reasons given for refusal range from concerns about a lack of parking space to potential adverse impact on the character of the area.

Deeside-based Sports for Champions UK, a Community Interest Company, had submitted the application.

The organisation’s mission is to educate, enable and empower young people in line with the national agenda for child welfare, public health, and safety.

A design and access statement that had been submitted with the plans said: “As a CIC we do not operate for profit but reinvest any surpluses into local communities.

“We are currently looking to secure planning for a gymnasium/ community hub to give disadvantaged young people the chance to get active and train with elite athletes; we will also be providing a warm space for people that need it and café for the local community.

“This will provide a great space for the new developments in Dutton fields and the opportunity to provide high skilled positions to individuals moving to the local area.

“Sessions will be regularly held by our Team GB and elite athletes including several leading Welsh athletes from our surrounding area.

“We are in discussions with the police and local PRU’s to identify young people who are vulnerable to ensure these memberships go to those who need them most.”

The statement added: “We have also contacted local GP’s and are looking to create a pathway for people struggling with their mental health to access free membership and classes.

“We want to deliver our commitment to provide 40 hot meals each week through a partnership with North Wales based food outreach programme Nanny Biscuit.

“We are providing this space upon consultation and wanting to give back more locally after being successful on a national scale.”

Despite having the support of Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami as well, council planning chiefs have explained the proposals are at odds with the county’s new Local Development Plan, and is an area safeguarded for industrial use.

Writing notice of the decision to turn down planning permission, via a delegated decision, the council’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said: “The proposed use falls outside of the uses permitted in the Principle Employment Area, as such the principle of the development is not supported.

“In addition, the proposed use coupled with the lack of parking spaces would lead to an increase in vehicles parking on the highway which would have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area. The proposal is therefore contrary to Policies PC2 and PE2 of the Flintshire Local Development Plan.”

By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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