A representative from Knutsford Town Council 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.”

Skipper TM, who operates next to the proposed site, also objected after suggesting that Wolfe Close already suffers from congestion. The opening times of the gym are proposed as 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on weekdays then 7am-9am on Saturdays, which led to CEC officers stating that they were satisfied this would avoid traffic issues for existing businesses on the industrial estate.

Letting agent Fisher German has received 36 enquiries for the site between 2016-2018, with 9 of those enquiries proposing that the site would be used as a leisure facility or gym.

CEC officers said that this ‘demonstrates a demand for the type of use proposed’. They were also told that other premises had been considered but were unsuitable or too expensive to be viable.

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