Local Councillors are set to approve plans for a 24-hour gym above a Portswood supermarket. A development application submitted to Southampton City Council is expected to be approved by the authority’s Planning and Rights of Way Panel after it was reviewed at last night’s committee meeting (see Agenda Item 6).
The first floor of 224 Portswood Road, directly above the Sainsbury’s superstore, will be renovated to become a PureGym, a fitness company which already has presence in three other Southampton city locations, including Southampton Central and Shirley, which have proven popular with students.
However some local residents and councillors have expressed concerns about the plans, arguing that the area will experience a ‘loss of community space; lack of parking; [and]night time disturbance to local residents‘. This comes from the expectation that the gym will be open for business seven days a week, extending the opening hours of the nearby car park, and thus increasing noise pollution for residents.
Councillors have also observed that as part of planning consent given to the store in 2011, it was agreed that community space would be protected in an attempt to overcome community displeasure at the store’s opening.
The Council have, however, commented that the site for the proposed gym has never been used as a community space, and Inspector Mary O’Rourke commented that arguments against the proposal are ‘not judged to have sufficient weight to justify a refusal of the application‘.
A decision on the application is expected from the Planning and Rights of Way Panel at a future meeting; such events usually take place in Conference Rooms 3 and 4 of the Southampton Civic Centre on Tuesdays twice-monthly.