The site on Fernwood Business Park that has permission for a gym
The site on Fernwood Business Park that has permission for a gym

Permission has been granted for a gym and sports performance centre at Fernwood Business Park.

Newark and Sherwood District Council’s planning committee approved the plans for a site behind The Tawny Owl.

Code Fitness is expected to move there from Maltkiln Lane, Newark, where it has been for four years.

The gym has around 300 members and is said to have no further room for expansion.

Under conditions applied to the consent, the development must start within the next three years.

Fernwood Business Park is on part of the former RAF Balderton.

In 2002 outline consent was given for a business park of up to 56,000sq m of floor space.

This was not acted on and the developer returned in 2008 and was granted permission for 47,500sq m of floor space by planning officers under delegated powers.

The permission equated to 24 two-storey semi-detached, three two-storey detached office units and two three-storey office blocks.

Permission for The Tawny Owl followed, as did consent for the 60-bed Lancaster Grange Care Home.

Wellness centre

There is also planning permission (granted last year) for a wellness centre to the west of the nursing home.

It is expected to be run by Spectrum Wellness, of Foston, based on 20 years of physiotherapy experience.

It would be a custom-designed, one-stop-shop physiotherapy, rehabilitation and exercise-therapy centre.

A planning application has recently been submitted for  Newark’s third secondary school, The Suthers School, on the business park and is pending a decision.

It is hoped the free school will open in September 2018.

Fernwood Parish Council unanimously supported the latest gym application.

Highways asked for a condition that there would be sufficient parking to prevent overspill parking on surrounding roads, as happens elsewhere on the park.

Information supplied in support of the application said the site was owned by the developer Strawsons, which had marketed Fernwood Business park for ten years.

The supporting information said: “During this time there has only been limited interest from office occupiers and the only deal that has been was the disposal to Gladmans in 2007.

“Gladmans have built out only a limited part of their office park (five of 16 buildings) and the take-up of the units which they developed speculatively has been disappointing, and they have no current plans to speculatively build any more office units.”

Strawsons Property confirmed there had been various interest in the business park over the years, however, the only interest that has resulted in transactions were the pub, care home, sports injury clinic and free school proposal, in addition to the new gym.

Interest in office development had for the most part been absorbed by the Gladmans scheme.