Former pro boxer to spar with councillors over Woodplumpton home gym plans

Posted on - 11th August, 2022 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment, Woodplumpton
Lewth Farm Pic: Google
Lewth Farm Pic: Google

A former professional boxer and trainer plans to convert an outbuilding to a gym in rural Preston, but it has now been called in by councillors who claim he’s running gym classes and a boxing club from it without permission.

The retrospective planning application for change of use and conversion of one agricultural building previously used for the storage of farm machinery into a home gym in Lewth Farm, Lewth Lane has been approved by Preston City Council with conditions.

The conditions being that the gym can only be used for purposes incidentally to the enjoyment of the house known as Lewth Farm and not at any time be used for any commercial or business purposes.

Internal alterations have been made to create a full-sized boxing ring and training gym for the personal use of the applicant Karl Ince. The building, due to its size and close proximity to the applicant’s home, offered the former boxer space to erect a boxing ring and gym at his home for his use and the use of his family.

The application is supported by a Planning Statement, which states the change of use of the building was undertaken approximately 12 years ago.

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This application was called in for determination by the Planning Committee by Councillor Susan Whittam and Councillor Keith Middlebrough on the following grounds, as detailed in reports going to the city council’s planning committee.

  • The gym is not for private/family use, it has been advertised on social media for many years as a fee paying commercial training/gym facility;
  • The access to the site is a single, un-adopted track, which serves a number of properties on Lewth Lane and is unsuitable for a mix of commercial and residential traffic;
  • The noise from the gym has a detrimental impact upon the surrounding local residents;
  • The site is contentious, there have been previous refused applications and two dismissed appeals.

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A total number of ten responses from seven addresses have been received which raise objections, some can be summarised below in their letters of objection:

  • Concerns with future unauthorised developments occurring with the intention of gaining approval later through retrospective planning applications;
  • The application building has never been in use for agricultural purposes;
  • The gym is used by many individuals who are not relatives of the applicant;
  • There is online evidence that the gym is publicly advertised as a commercial gym;
  • The applicant intends to change the land he owns into commercial, business, industrial and leisure uses however, this should be accommodated in more appropriate locations close to the city;
  • Increased visitors and excess vehicles coming/going to the application site are creating increased traffic and noise to the detriment of neighbouring amenities and highway safety;
  • The access is along a single-track lane and does not provide safe access in and out of the site, as there are no passing places;
  • The single-track lane is unsuitable for the increased volume of traffic;
  • When included with other traffic generated by the applicant’s other businesses onsite, the number of vehicles on the lane per day averages over 100;
  • Activities within the gym are creating noise and disturbance to the detriment of residential amenities.

A planning committee will now take place on August 11, to debate whether the planning application for the home gym should be allowed.

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