PLANNING experts have recommended a bid to introduce a 24-hour gym for approval, despite backlash from residents.

The Gym Group has applied to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to change the use of Unit 3A at St Michael’s Retail Park, in Harrow Way, to pave the way for the site to become the home of a new 24-hour health and fitness centre.

A decision will be made on the new 24-hour gym by councillors at a development control committee meeting on Wednesday with officers recommending approval be given.

The applicant said the plans offer a different market to the current health and fitness offer which already exists in the area by providing ‘low cost and flexible gym membership’ options.

However, when the application was submitted residents called the plans “inconsiderate” to the area.

John Vyvyan, who lives in The Harrow Way, commented on the plans saying: “It is extremely noisy as things are at the moment, let alone vehicles driving in and out, all through the night directly in front of my house, and at most times the vehicles drive out at very high speed.

“This is very unfair to expect us to live with this.”

In the recommendation to councillors, it is stated the plan “would not result in an adverse impact on residential amenity to existing neighbouring properties.”

The report read: “The proposed development will provide a low budget gym offer, which is expected to operate on a 24-hour basis to ensure flexibility for its members and to meet changing working habits and timings.

“The applicant has stated that this would attract members who work shifts or employed by the emergency services, for example.”

The report continued: “There are residential properties to the north and south of the retail park, however, they are separated from the park by both Winchester Road to the north and The Harrow Way to the south and would be some distance from the site.”

The Gym Group has more than 130 venues in the UK, including in Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, Guildford and Brighton.

For more information on the plan, go to and search 18/03646/FUL.