Ellon gym plans deferred for now

Plans for a new gym in Ellon town centre have been deferred over concerns about parking and potential road safety issues caused by delivery vehicles.

Glenshire Developments plan to turn unused storage space to the rear of Greens of Ellon into a new gym.
Glenshire Developments plan to turn unused storage space to the rear of Greens of Ellon into a new gym.

Glenshire Developments applied to Aberdeenshire Council in a bid to turn unused storage space to the rear of Greens of Ellon into a new fitness facility.

The unit would be run by Arena Strength and Fitness Gym which currently operates a 24-hour gym in Peterhead.

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Although planning permission has yet to be granted, some works have already taken place at the unit on Schoolhill Road, including the formation of the new front door. A toilet and store room would be created inside while two car parking spaces would be formed to the front of the building.

The gym proposal comes just months after plans for a takeaway to the front of the Ellon shop were given the go-ahead.

Residents weren’t too happy with the proposal as 12 letters of objection were submitted to the local authority.

Those against the plans raised concerns about parking as well as the noise impact it would have on neighbouring properties.

Kate Robb feared that delivery lorries could potentially park on and block the road: “This is a problem for ambulances and first responders trying to reach Slater Court and the new build units at the former academy. I am all for improvements to amenities in Ellon but not at the expense of public safety.”

Meanwhile, Theresa Booth said the lorries would “cause an obstruction” and impact those heading to the health centre or nearby dentist for appointments.

But despite the objections council planners recommended the plan be approved.

They said the change would add to the character of the neighbourhood by providing a new business, creating more footfall and new jobs.

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Planners also believed there was enough parking in the area to accommodate the new gym.

The proposal went before members of the Formartine area committee this morning.

While councillors were generally supportive of the new gym, they did speak out against the location of the proposed car parking spaces.

Ellon and District councillor Louise McAllister said the two spaces would obstruct the flow of delivery vehicles dropping items off at the convenience store.

Fellow ward councillor John Crawley said he would be “much happier” if the two parking spaces were gone to allow delivery vehicles to drive in and out without backing out onto Schoolhill Road.

He said: “To the right is the main entrance to the health centre and you get a lot of elderly and disabled people walking down that bit of road. With lorries backing out that could be a danger.”

Councillor Davidson urged the committee to delegate the application to council chiefs for approval but asked for further discussions to be held over parking on the site.

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However councillor Anne Stirling suggested the plan be deferred to a future meeting to allow officers to address concerns about road safety, management of the site and the proposed parking. She also asked for video footage to be gathered to help members with their decision.

Following a vote, the majority of the committee agreed to defer the matter to a future meeting.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​