Controversial gym plan gets go ahead

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Plans to breathe new life into a struggling Shawlands Arcade have been given the go ahead by Glasgow City Council, despite widespread opposition.

Controversial plans to turn a large portion of the Shawlands shopping mall over to a 24-hour gym were voted through by a nine to four majority.

Langside councillor Archie Graham said: “There was a lot of opposition to these proposals. However, I am satisfied that the views of those who raised concerns were taken into account.”

A spokesperson for Pure Gym, who will take over space at the arcade, said: “We are aware of the opposition to the plans but want to allay any concerns. Our company policy is to ensure that there is always at least one member of staff on-site 24 hours a day.”

Yet objectors say the move goes against the council’s own policy on protecting retail space and promoting Shawlands as a retail hub and puts existing fitness businesses at risk.

“This decision will surely put a strain on similar operations in Shawlands,” said Tony Halifax, of Shawlands and Strathbungo community council, who was at the hearing in city chambers on Tuesday.

Euan MacNeilage, assistant manager at Future Fitness in Shawlands, spoke in opposition to the “change of use” application which would allow Arcade landlords AWG to install the new gym,

He told The Extra: “This proposal goes against council policy as set out by the Town Centre Action Plan. More than that, there is a raft of safety concerns that have not be en satisfactorily addressed.

“If someone’s having a heart attack on a treadmill at 2am, CCTV buzzers on the wall and a first-aid trained cleaner is not likely to be much help.”