A NEW gym could open its doors at Parkgate Industrial Estate in Knutsford despite fears it could cause misery for drivers.

Cheshire East Council has given permission for 8 Wolfe Close to be transformed from a 230sq m warehouse with office space into a gym.

But with the site set to have just four parking spaces, Knutsford Town Council had objected to the proposal – and it suggested the loss of industrial space at Parkgate could lead developers to build replacement warehouses on greenbelt land.

It said: “The council objects to the change of use application on the grounds of insufficient car parking on the site in an out of town centre location, where an on-site parking problem already exists.

“Additional parking on the highway would be to the detriment of highways safety.

“Due to an identified undersupply of industrial floor space in the parish of Knutsford, the loss of a B [industrial] unit could also create pressure to release additional green belt.”

Next-door business Skipper TM also wrote to CEC in objection, suggesting that Wolfe Close is already congested – an issue which the firm says has led to complaints from other businesses where vehicles have tried to deliver and unload.

However, the gym is only expected to open between 6am and 8am and 6pm and 8pm on weekdays – and CEC officers were satisfied that this would avoid traffic problems for existing Parkgate businesses.

The local authority was also told that letting agent Fisher German had received 36 enquiries for the site between January 2016 and August 2018 – of which nine where for the site to be used as a leisure facility, such as a gym.

In approving the scheme, CEC officers said that this ‘demonstrates a demand for the type of use proposed’.

Officers were also told that other town centre premises had been considered for use as a gym, but they were considered either unsuitable or too expensive.

The gym is also expected to open between 7am and 9am on Saturdays.