Gymnasts springing into new club facility

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An area of vacant land at an Inverurie industrial estate is to be transformed into a new sports facility.

Garioch Gymnastics Club was this week given the green light to develop the site at Inverurie’s Blackhall Industrial Estate.

The development was given the go-ahead subject to the creation of off-street parking for 15 cars and surfaced in hard standing materials.

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Garioch Area Committee heard that while the proposal did not accord with the requirements of employment and business land, the site was currently vacant and there are pressures for this type of facility within Inverurie and the surrounding area.

Recommending approval, Stephen Archer, director of infrastructure services, said providing a permanent venue for this type of activity would retain leisure uses within the area.

Furthermore, he said Blackhall Industrial Estate already accommodates a variety of different uses and use classes and is not defined by one single use.

He said the proposal would result in an additional use that would retain an established local gymnastics club within the local community.

Councillors were advised that in the future, Unit 9 could easily be returned to an employment use through minor internal alterations and a change of use.

Externally, the change of use will have a limited impact on the appearance of the building, while internally, alterations will be carried out to subdivide the existing building into two separate units by building up the openings between the two separate warehouses. The total internal floor area of the gymnasium will be approximately 1,250 square metres.

The gymnastics club will be open from 8am till 10pm daily, with the Garioch Gymnastics Club specifying that visitor numbers will generally be 14 gymnasts and between two and three members of staff.

During peak times, Monday to Friday, 4pm to 9pm and Saturday, 9am-4pm there will generally be 32 gymnasts and between four and five members of staff.

The area committee heard that members of staff will generally park on site, while gymnasts - mostly children - will be dropped off and picked up by their parents or guardians and are therefore unlikely to park.

As the application was a departure from the valid Local Development Plan it had been advertised as such, but no representations were received and the period for receiving representations has expired.