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Dive shop struggling to survive

SOLIHULL Council rejected a planning application from Scuba + Outdoor Pursuits Centre this week causing another two workers to be placed on the unemployed list.

SOLIHULL Council rejected a planning application from Scuba + Outdoor Pursuits Centre this week causing another two workers to be placed on the unemployed list.

Years of hard work came crashing to an end when the planning committee refused permission to re-locate the store to Radway Road and change the use of an industrial site from 'light industrial' to 'retail and training'.

The store will now close on November 1 as the lease on the current site on Stratford Road is due to expire.

The council say the reasons for refusal is because: "The proposed change of use would represent the undesirable loss of an existing industrial use which would be detrimental to the availability of a balanced portfolio of sites, particularly if repeated elsewhere."

Managing director Mark Turner says he is "baffled" by the council's decision to refuse permission as the site has been vacant for three years while being on the market for that duration.

He said that because they are operating in such an incredibly specialist market no other location was suitable to accommodate the needs of the business, and despite the bad news he is "doing everything humanly possible to source another location".

"I don't want to have to lay off two members of staff but at the moment it seems the only option," he said.

"Although it would appear Solihull Council place little or no value on the continued employment of our hard-working team we will not be seen to do the same."

Since 2002 the Solihull-based site has become one of the largest group of Scuba Diving Centres in the UK a position that is now severely under threat.

 

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