Plans for 24/7 gym pulled


Plans to create a 24 hour gym in Wilmslow town centre, which would be open 365 days a year, have been withdrawn due to complications with the lease.

Blackpool based North West Leisure Ltd intended to fit-out both the ground and first floor of 52 Parsonage Green to create an Anytime Fitness Club, having opened one in Knutsford earlier this year.

The premises were most recently occupied by a sports bar but have been vacant since the building was repossessed on behalf of the landlord in May 2014. Prior to that the building was occupied by La Tasca restaurant.

A spokesperson for the company said "North West Leisure Ltd have withdrawn their application due to complications with the lease."

The scheme included the creation of three parking spaces, however many readers took to our Facebook page and posted comments on raising concerns about the lack of parking.

Over 30 letters of objection were also received by Cheshire East Council, many of whom complained about the lack of parking and said there were already too many gyms in the area.

Chris Hawkins wrote "In an area already saturated by gyms a central Wilmslow location like this would increase traffic in the town centre by a number that would bring the town to a standstill at peak times. The town centre already suffers from congestion and this would make it untenable. Car parking is already at a premium with a lack of spaces in any of the public cark parks. They are already at breaking point and this would make Wilmslow a place to absolutely avoid."

Charlotte Wedd said "I've been a resident in Wilmslow for years and parking is getting worse and worse. I'm a member of a local gym and know how many spaces these things need especially in the mornings! Just don't think Wilmslow can deal with the extra vehicles that need spaces and are not available!"

Beth Scholey said "Parking in Wilmslow is bad enough as it is if the gym is built parking will be worse for the people in Wilmslow to do their shopping etc. There are loads of gyms already and a leisure centre over the road there just isn't any need for another gym. Something more suitable for the people of wilmslow needs should be built."

Rania Ezzedine wrote "24hr imagine the problems!! No parking when I go to Hoopers as it is!! Please don't make it worse, lets get some bars or eating places in it and make Wilmslow a better place than more of the same old!"

Gareth Caple wrote "I commute and work in Wilmslow Monday to Friday. My firm has to cope with lack of parking every day.

"We are based opposite the proposed unit and is already almost impossible for visiting clients as it is to park for our meetings. The membership using that club during my business hours will make life even worse.

"No please - stick restaurants in there are no parking problems in the evening in there peak times ....and you will still get your business rates!"

Last year the people behind the Laundrette, which opened in Chorlton in August 2014, were intending to open a second branch at 52, Parsonage Green. However, after several months they confirmed that they were not going ahead with the plans.

A spokesperson for Laundrette said "It's with huge regret that we are giving up on this site Having tried for 2 years and spent thousands in the process. We will keep looking."

Anytime Fitness, Planning Applications


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Jon Armstrong
Tuesday 2nd February 2016 at 12:51 pm
I Googled the names of a couple of the people so so so concerned about parking and the first two I tried at random work for rival fitness businesses in Wilmslow, so I am sure they are being completely open and upfront about the real reasons for their objections.

There are some equally dubious reasons for objecting amongst the others. Gareth Caple's firm, for example, cheaps out and doesn't rent sufficient parking spaces for visting clients, but appears to think they should have some sort of priority over other businesses for the nearby on street parking.

And saying it's getting too difficult to park at Hoopers? How many free parking spaces to they provide? Correct me if I'm wrong, but three less than this gym proposed to provide.

No wonder the town centre is dying and business find it easier to locate to places like Stanley Green.
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 2nd February 2016 at 4:25 pm
Let me understand this- people do drive to a gym but do not drive to a restaurant? It's not as if there are a shortage of eateries and drunkeries in Wilmslow.
Ian Parkinson
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 12:16 am
Shame on you all ... we can now look at another empty unit for another 12 months... none of these gym goers would pop into any shops in the town to pick something up buy a coffee pay car parking would they? I have never worked in a town is so much against new business and when people want to invest in it... lets face it someone is prepared to sign a 10 year lease and kit out a gym and all you do is moan... you deserve a dying town.... you are killing trade in 10 years there will be hairdressers, undertakers and opticians on the high street

Ian Parkinson
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 10:33 am
This site - including Tescos needs improving - preferably by upgrading the premises with proper roofs. The empty shop would actually be an ideal community facility within the centre of town rather than the parish hall which is down by the play area. It could be subdivided to include one of those "creative" shops where mum's take their children to paint on pottery etc. Mums might be encouraged to drop of their children at school on foot and walk the other toddlers down to this site. There are many coffee shops around where they could meet up afterwards and spend money and clothes shops. If you are talking about attracting young families into Wilmslow then cater for families in the centre of town rather than have them travel to Handforth Dean. There is one of those creative craft shops in Cheadle village and I am always struck by how busy it is.
Mark Russell
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 10:45 am
Yep, well said Ian,

All you objectors have only got to look two miles down the road and look at the mess Alderley Edge have got themselves into. They cant even decided where to put a car park and the village is slowly dieing while they argue for the next 5 years (and they have been arguing for the last five years as well) over what to do. Congrats you 30 objectors, no doubt the same people who moan about "not another coffee shop" and "please no more charity shops". Well done, another prime location empty for god knows how long, but more importantly jobs gone begging, all because of perceived poor parking. When will people in Alderley Edge and Wilmslow get over this nonsense of parking and get on with life??? Because ill tell you something, in five years there wont be an issue, all the businesses will have left or gone bust and we can park where we like immediatly because there will be no need for "out of towners" to come here. I live in Wilmslow, about 10 mins walk out of the centre, and yes like most people (lets be honest) when its chucking it down or blowing a gale, I drive in, but I always get a spot somewhere pretty quick, so just what is the problem people???

Lets get business's into the town, and show Alderley Edge how its done!!!
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 12:45 pm
Judging by the number of people marching about in gym gear carrying water bottles why would they need any more parking!!! Too many gyms!!! Many of the office workers who may use a nearby gym during the day have already parked.
Ryan Dance
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 12:58 pm
30 objections - rather amusing (not). Sad to say the least, I live in wilmslow and the level of animosity / anti development rhetoric aimed at planning applications / investment is obscene worrying & lacks any element of sense.

if all the objectors are so concerned about parking ....get out of your +£50k gas guzzling trucks/cars and walk - maybe the lack the ability to understand or should i say acceptance is concerning "you are equally part of the problem".
John Rowland
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 1:37 pm
What a shame !- Whingers 1 - Wilmslow 0

suggest people go and live in somewhere like Rochdale if they want plenty of parking and boarded up shops !
Maria Quin
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 2:01 pm
Personally, I don't mind what goes into this unit (within reason) as long as it's filled and provides something useful and jobs. My gripe is that - with a mere 30 objections- this gym has been turned down when many more objections are raised to residential planning applications which are ignored by the council! Only when the majority of residents are listened to and heeded by Cheshire East Planning, will Wilmslow become what we all want! (Just my humble opinion and experience)!
Sally Hoare
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 3:44 pm
Priority must be given to filling this eyesore of a building and getting it tidied up. Whatever the problem is with the lease it needs looking into. Virtually everyone with a Wilmslow address lives within walking distance of town. The only time I take the car into town is to do a supermarket shop, but I have never had any trouble parking. Please use your legs and free up the parking for those who are unable to walk and those who are coming from further afield to spend money in our town.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 4:13 pm
There seems to have been some sort of planned attack on this proposal. A quick look at where some of the objectors live reveals: Wythenshawe, Warrington, Macc, Cheadle Hulme... Those are the only four I looked at!
Christian Hurstfield
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 5:52 pm
"Rania Ezzedine wrote "24hr imagine the problems!! No parking when I go to Hoopers as it is!! Please don't make it worse, lets get some bars or eating places in it and make Wilmslow a better place than more of the same old!" "


1. Is Hoopers 24hrs? no, it's not, so logically a 24hr gym will make more sense, peak times for gyms are 6pm onwards, so I don't think this will interfere with your shopping experience at all. If it was a 9-5 gym then yes,sure, but they don't exist...

2. So you want to get rid of the 'same old' by getting "some bars or eating places"...... oh dear, you may as well say "i don't want people to be healthier, just fatter and more drunk"
Jon Armstrong
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 6:59 pm
Christian - If you see my first post, two seconds on Google shows Rania Ezzedine works as a fitness instructor connected to a rival local gym, so I think her real objections are likely to be completely unrelated to parking, Hoopers, bars or eating.
Andreas Rockett
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 7:00 pm
Well said Ian. You are right the objectors are arm chair moaners who need to get a life and stop being so selfish. It would have been welcome to have a 24hr gym for those who can't go in normal hours like a lot of my friends. I also live in wilmslow and have never had an issue parking, what do these people drive that they have such an issue seriously? Let us hope another company comes along to do a gym perhaps and these sofa specialists stick to the sofa and leave it alone.