Residents complain about ‘noisy’ Clitheroe gym

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Enforcement action is to be taken against a “noisy gym” that has been operating for the past five months without the correct planning permission.

But Mr Mark Edlington-Booth and Mr Luke Holt, who run fitness studio Sui Generis at Brookside Industrial Units in Taylor Street, Clitheroe, are appealing against the council’s decision.

Mr Edlington-Booth also reassured clients and potential new customers it was business as usual at the fitness studio – also known as The Unit – while the matter is being resolved.

Residents living in Highmoor Park, Clitheroe, in properties backing on to the fitness studio, complained that since the beginning of August they had been subjected to unacceptable levels of noise from 6am to 9pm on a regular basis. The Unit holds classes such as spin, circuits and zumba. There is also a pool, which is used for children’s swimming classes.

A retrospective planning application for the change of use of the light industrial unit to a fitness studio was discussed by members of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning committee.

Councillors had been asked to visit the site and experience the noise generated before the meeting.

Six letters of objections were received from the owners of nearby properties.

Noise at unsociable hours including raised voices, loud music, thumping weights and equipment, people exerting themselves, traffic and raised voices outside the unit were some of the concerns raised.

Objectors claimed the noise was affecting their quality of life and causing stress and tension. It was argued the units were not constructed to be used as a fitness studio and did not have the appropriate sound proofing.

Committee members agreed with their officer’s summary that “the use, by reason of noise disturbance, is 
resulting in serious harm to the amenity the occupants of neighbouring residential properties should reasonably expect to enjoy and this harm is having a significant adverse impact on the health and quality of life of these occupants.”

Mr Edlington-Booth, who also has Onward&Outward in King Street, Clitheroe, told us: “We’ve been trying to work with the council as much as possible and every recommendation they’ve put to us we have adhered to up to this point.”

He added there were plans to insulate the building, not play music at certain times and work with the council to manage the parking issues. The gym was not purely a profit-making enterprise and was involved closely with the community. Clitheroe Bike Club juniors and Clitheroe Trike Club already use the gym and Mr Holt is staging classes teaching youngsters boxing.