Opening Ministry was not easy.
We had a long 9 month battle with the Council bureaucrats
In order to open Ministry of Fitness we had to have quite a long drawn out fight with the local Council who were adamant that the gym would not open (well one planning officer and her boss was, no one else objected.)
Therefore we had to go through several stages of representation and appeal before we were even allowed to start work.
The Planning appeal was rejected and was referred to the Planning meeting. Despite an almost exactly the same proposal being granted in Yate (in the same Council district) the Planning Officer and her boss still didn’t want to grant it. The Planning officer told a fib in the meeting to sway the decision that ‘kingswood was not in decline (economically) and Yate was’ hence why the Yate proposal was granted and mine not.
However information obtained from the Council’s OWN WEBSITE showed that actually Kingswood was more in decline than Yate and had been for some time. NAUGHTY FIBBERS!
Therefore the proposal was rejected.
Unrelenting in our quest to provide a top quality gym in Kingswood we then went to appeal. We recruited a Planning Consultant to assess and present our case.
We submitted the case in December and the evidence we presented was as thick as a large print bible with reams of evidence and photos showing the empty shops and premises in the surrounding areas as well as letters of support from local councillors, MPs, sports clubs and residents.
In fact NO ONE objected to the gym apart from:
- The planning officer and her boss
- Another local gym
The Planning officer did not even bother to submit a counter appeal to our evidence.
We were granted the appeal in January 2010 and the Inspector who assessed our case found that the council had acted unreasonably in determining our case and had not considered like cases in a similar manner (in reference to the Yate proposal)
We also won a case for costs against the council to the tune of £2500 because of the unreasonable behaviour.
Work then began in earnest in May 2010.