The change of use will be valid for a period of five years and at that stage, the use of the unit for those purposes will cease, unless its continued use is allowed by way of a further planning permission.
Planner Helen Quinn’s assessment stated, “The site forms part of an existing industrial unit within Shannon Free Zone West and is zoned as industrial in the Shannon Town and Environs Local Area Plan 2012-2018. It is proposed to change the use of part of the building (297.5sqm) to a gymnasium and personal training centre.
“The indicative land use zoning matrix as set out in the Shannon Town and Environs Local Area Plan 2012-2018 outlines that a ‘leisure/gym/rec sports club’ is not normally permitted on lands zoned as light industry.
“It is noted that there are enterprise-zoned lands located directly across the road from the subject. It is also noted that the matrix is ‘indicative’ and all applications for development shall be considered on their individual merits.
“It is considered that a temporary permission for five years to allow the re-use of this vacant site as a gym and at the end of the five years a reassessment can be made as to what the possible impacts of permitting this type of use has on industrial-zoned lands.”
Regarding the compatibility of a gym with other surrounding uses, she stated, “I note that the subject location has an existing Bank of Ireland premises. There are other units to let in the immediate area. At the outset, from an economic development perspective, I consider it important to carefully consider all proposals that will result in vacant units being brought back into active use and create employment opportunities.
“As regards this particular area, which currently provides an important service to the industrial estate (ie, the bank) I consider that it has potential to develop itself further as a small node of service activity for the area. This is reinforced by its excellent location near the main entrance to Shannon Free Zone West and its accessibility to businesses within the park.”
She didn’t feel it would impact on activity in the town centre.
“Having regard to the distance of the site from the town centre, together with the nature of the proposed use (gymnasium), I do not consider that the proposed development would have a significant impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre core retail area. I consider that, in the main, the gym would serve the working population in the industrial parks of Shannon.”