Plans to site a 24 hour gym in Shirley’s new Parkgate scheme have been given the official go ahead.
Members at last week’s planning committee approved the proposal to put a new fitness centre in one of the retail units, despite concerns that the facility would not help to regenerate the High Street.
As well as the flagship Asda store and a new library, there will also be a bakers, a card store, a shoe shop and a discount retailer within the scheme.
Robert Birch, head of Shirley Advance - the firm behind the scheme - said he has received mostly positive feedback from those who have looked round the site.
“The addition of a gym brings another community facility into a scheme which has always set out to be a truly mixed use development,” he said after the decision.
“Parkgate is set to become a lively and prosperous new meeting place for the town.”
But Councillor Howard Allen (Green, Shirley West) said he does not believe the venture would complement the development.
“This is supposed to be a regeneration scheme for Shirley - to help boost trade on the High Street,” he said.
“A gym doesn’t bring anything to Shirley. People will use the gym and then go straight home. They are not going to go shopping.
“They are supposed to be retail units but I would not class a gym as a retail outlet. The same goes for the library.
“I don’t have any concerns with the gym being open 24 hours but I think it would have been better placed on the former Powergen site.
“There is also the matter of the gym now competing with other facilities in the area, like Tudor Grange Leisure Centre.”