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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucester's former Next store will become a gym despite local council objections

Plans to turn the former Next superstore in Quedgeley in to a gym have been approved, despite objections being raised by councillors worried about the lack of jobs being created at the site.

The 1,550 square metre premises have been vacant since Next moved their Gloucester operation to their new store at the Quays.

Energie Fitness plan to open a new fitness centre on the site, with the planning documents showing that the site will be open 24 hours a day.

The original application suggested that no employment roles would be created by the gym opening and that led to Quedgeley Town Council lodging an objection to the council.

According to documents, Councillor Dave Norman (Conservative, Grange and Kingsway) requested that the plans be subject to committee determination.

The documents show that Cllr Norman had concerns that "there will be a loss of employment as the developer will create no jobs at all.

"This site has not been empty for very long and very limited advertising of the site has been undertaken."

That led to a response from Savills, who were acting on behalf of Royal London who own the Quedgeley Retail Park.

They said the site had been advertised for two years, following Next's decision to relocate to The Quays and that Energie Fitness were the first new tenants to agree to move in.

Energie Fitness have also confirmed that three full-time staff, between three to five part-time staff and as many as five freelance staff would be employed by the new gym.

Gloucester City Council's planning committee met last week and determined to grant permission for the change of use to a gym.

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