Two fitness fanatics have hit out at what they called the “older people” running Dundee City Council after their bid to open a gym on an industrial estate was refused on appeal.
Sam McCluskey and Sheli McCoy have failed to secure permission to open their Sweatbox Dundee gym inside two new-build units at Dunsinane Industrial Estate.
They had lodged an appeal with the council’s Local Review Body after their initial application for the site was refused in August.
And despite securing 15 letters of support from other businesses in the industrial park the decision to refuse permission was upheld at a council meeting yesterday.
The Local Review Body can only re-examine planning applications on statutory grounds – meaning decisions cannot be made on a “heart over head” basis.
Councillors Will Dawson, Stewart Hunter and Margaret Richardson could not find any reasons to overturn the decision on the basis of planning policy.
However, in a public video posted on social media last night, Ms McCoy said the local authority was not open to change.
She said: “Their motto is ‘Changing for the Future’ but (change) is the one thing they’re not actually prepared to do.
“They’re not prepared to bring in any new concepts unless it meets this standard they’ve set.
“It’s older people, sat at a desk going ‘that doesn’t sound like something I would like’, so they don’t do it.”
Mr McCluskey and Ms McCoy had initially secured permission to operate their gym out of an older building in nearby Kilspindie Drive following an earlier meeting of the Local Review Body.
However, Ms McCoy claimed the building was unsafe, and prohibitively expensive to bring up to scratch, hence the relocation bid.
Should the pair wish to appeal further they will have to do so through the courts, on a point of law. Sweatbox Dundee declined to comment further when approached by the Tele.
Meanwhile, a bid by a decades-old scrap merchant to turn its yard into housing has also been refused on appeal.
Frank Kelbie Ltd had hoped to build six homes on its Milnbank Road site as it planned a move out to a new space in Lochee.
However, councillors Dawson, Richardson and Roisin Smith were unable to find reasons within the rules to overturn the decision made by officers in July.
Mr Dawson said: “This is a head versus heart moment. The heart says anything would be better but it seems it wouldn’t comply with planning policy.”
Ian Davidson, planning agent acting for Frank Kelbie, said his clients will now consider whether to seek a further review.