Chesterfield CrossFit wins planning war with borough council

Crossfit 252 owners Paul and Sarah Roberts pictured with members. Picture by Rachel Atkins.
Crossfit 252 owners Paul and Sarah Roberts pictured with members. Picture by Rachel Atkins.

A popular fitness centre no longer faces closure after a planning chief overturned a controversial decision by Chesterfield Borough Council.

Earlier this year, the authority refused a change of use planning application for CrossFit 252 at Storforth Lane Trading Estate, Hasland.

At the time, a borough council spokesman said: "The application was refused by an officer because it was considered that it does not support the vitality of existing centres and does not meet the test for town centre uses. There are no wider regeneration or sustainability benefits of significant weight.

"Also, there is no parking provision and is likely to lead to inappropriate parking and congestion to the detriment of highway safety."

The Derbyshire Times subsequently reported on widespread public outcry at the decision and spoke to Paul Roberts, who has operated CrossFit 252 at the site for the past three years and lodged an appeal against the decision.

Now, planning inspector Stephen Normington has said the appeal should be allowed on the basis of a three-year temporary planning permission, which is what was requested in the original planning application.

In his report, he said: "I find that the proposed change of use would not have a negative impact on the vitality of the town centre or have a detrimental effect on the availability of employment floor space in the borough. However, this is on the basis of the available evidence at the current moment in time. I recognise that these circumstances are subject to economic change and that the council's preferred approach to the location of such uses is in town centres and thereby not permanently occupying employment sites for which there may be a future demand.

"The proposal would not have a demonstrable detrimental effect on highway or pedestrian safety."