LOBBY THE LANDLORD! The landlord is Ben Wells https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-wells-27397a171/?originalSubdomain=uk Ultimately he is likely to support the application. Why? He might be able to attract a higher rental yield or he might believe the freehold will be easier to sell if the unit is a retail unit. Potentially he's looking for someone to take over the freehold and perhaps this is more likely if it's a big retailer with deep pockets such as Majestic. In terms of the business, we (the members) understand that AnytimeFitness now interested in buying it (it's a franchise and owned by another business presently) hence the discovery of the application for change of permitted use.*
*please note the information has not been confirmed by AnytimeFitness HQ, nor the current owners of the franchise, or any of the team/employees there. We the owners of this campaign, are not personally connected to the business other than being members and allies.
To: Vale of Glamorgan Council, The Landlord
Save Penarth's Gym!
We, the undersigned members and supporters of Anytime Fitness in Penarth hold deep concern and shared dismay regarding the potential closure of our gym and the proposed change of use from 'gym' to 'retail.' The news that Majestic Wines may take over the lease is causing great distress within our community, and we implore you to consider the profound impact this decision would have on our town.
Anytime Fitness in Penarth is not merely a gym; it is a cherised safe space and a thriving community for its members. Beyond the physical workouts, it serves as a sanctuary where individuals find solace, support, and a genuine sense of belonging. Members forge meaningful connections, creating a community that transcends the typical gym experience.
The facility is a haven for those relying on it not just for physical fitness but as a vital component of their mental well-being. The welcoming atmosphere and camaraderie cultivated by the dedicated staff and fellow members make Anytime Fitness an indispensable resource for those seeking not only to enhance their physical health but also to find comfort and support for their mental and emotional needs. The potential closure of this community hub would undoubtedly leave a profound void, impacting the lives of its members far beyond the realm of traditional gym facilities.
When the building was originally granted planning permission, it was with the understanding that a gym would serve the community's well-being. The approval of this change not only contradicts the initial planning purpose but also poses a direct threat to the livelihoods of the dedicated staff who have made significant contributions to the well-being of our community.
Furthermore,there is already a Majestic Wine retail shop merely 6 minutes' drive from Anytime Fitness. Allowing a second branch in such close proximity threatens the existence of the independent wine shop, The Bottle Shop, and overlooks the numerous supermarkets in the area that already offer a variety of wine options. Gyms, on the other hand, are scarce, and their positive impact on community health cannot be overstated.
We also believe that replacing a gym with a wine shop goes directly against The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, which is the VoG is legally bound by.
Anytime Fitness, with nearly 1000 active members, caters to a diverse range of individuals, from teenagers seeking strength improvement to menopausal women alleviating their symptoms. Its classes are open to non members and brings a diverse group of people together to exercise and connect.
The passionate staff at Anytime Fitness have not only provided a welcoming and supportive environment but have also become integral to fostering a sense of community. The variety of classes offered by the dedicated team has positively impacted the mental health of both members and non-members alike.
The proposed change of use from 'gym' to 'retail' not only disregards the original planning permission but also puts at risk the livelihoods of the dedicated staff who have become an essential part of our community. Moreover, it questions the council's commitment to prioritise the health and well-being of Penarth's residents over business interests.
We firmly believe that a gym, with its positive impact on physical and mental health, is a more valuable asset to our community than a wine shop. The health of Penarth's residents should take precedence over financial considerations and the promotion of alcohol consumption. A gym fosters a healthier lifestyle, and the potential closure of Anytime Fitness poses a threat to the well-being of our community.
We implore you to reconsider the proposed retail permit, recognising the broader implications it holds for the health, livelihoods, and sense of community in Penarth. Preserving Anytime Fitness is not just about protecting a facility; it is about prioritising the well-being of our residents over business ventures that may compromise the health of our community.
Why is this important?
Our mental health and physical fitness relies on this gym. It's an integral part of our daily life, our routine and our happiness. It's more than a gym, it's a community.