‘I wouldn’t like to be living next door’ - Outcry at gym plans for terraced residential street

The end of terrace property in Great Eastern Yard, Framlingham, where gym proposals have been put fo

The end of terrace property in Great Eastern Yard, Framlingham, where gym proposals have been put forward. Picture: ANDREW HIRST - Credit: Archant

Proposals for a gym at the end of a terraced residential street in Suffolk have provoked outcry from neighbours.

Mint Fitness, which runs gyms in Earl Soham and Aldeburgh, wants to convert a property in Hopkins Homes’ new Station Road development in Framlingham from its current office use.

The applicant claims “silent disco” technology and rubber mats would minimise noise, while speakers would be “comparable to normal domestic use”.

However, people living near to the building in Great Eastern Yard say they were “dismayed” by the possibility of a gym operating seven days a week, with weekday opening hours of 6.15am-9pm.

One resident, who attended Framlingham Town Council’s latest meeting to raise concerns, said: “The people living next door have two young kids and the thought of them being next to this scheme, is not good,” they said.

Christopher Sharpe, who lives near to Mint Fitness in Earl Soham, said it was “extremely noisy”. “I wouldn’t like to be living next door,” he added.

Objectors on Suffolk Coastal’s planning website mention disturbance to young families and concerns about parking,

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“At best, it is an inconsiderate proposal,” said on neighbour. Another added: “We were dismayed to find out about the proposed change of use to a gym.”

Framlingham Town Council voted to recommend the application’s refusal.

Councillor David Beal said he was surprised Suffolk Coastal’s environment protection officer had not raised greater concerns about the application, other than imposing conditions, such as insisting the gym seek approval before installing any equipment.

Several councillors said Suffolk Coastal would be unable to enforce conditions. Jo Simpson said there were better sites nearby, such as next to Framlingham Vets.

Mint Fitness said it had a proven track record in benefiting communities and had been awarded EU funding in recognition of the success of its existing sites. It said project leaders had met with council officers to ensure the application met policy requirements. The chosen site is claimed to be the only one available in the Framingham area, which meets policy requirements on where gyms can be located. Mint Fitness said it would be used for personal training, yoga and massage rather than noisier forms of exercise.

A spokesman added: “Mint Fitness is a local business that enjoys a brilliant relationship with the Framlingham community, so we will seriously consider all the concerns raised in relation to this application.”

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