Plans to turn a former town centre bowling alley into a 24-hour gym have been approved.
National health club chain Jett Gyms will move into the old 1st Bowl unit at The Viaduct in Accrington, which has stood empty since 2013.
The Observer revealed last year how Globe Enterprises, which owns the unit, applied to Hyndburn council for permission to change conditions on a planning application which was approved in November 2015.
They included splitting the 9,800 sqft unit into two smaller 5,000 sqft and 4,800sqft units and allowing the business to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Planning agents Indigo Planning said the condition changes ‘will meet the business requirements of the new operator, Jett Gyms, who wish to operate 5,000 sqft of the existing retail/leisure unit as a 24-hour gym’.
In a statement, they said: “This application will therefore utilise a longstanding vacant unit in a prominent gateway into the town centre back into active use.
“In doing so, it will create a number of jobs, as well as bringing footfall and activity to the area.
“It will also create an attractive and vibrant environment which will support other nearby uses and occupiers.”
Council planning officers approved the scheme last month after no objections were received.
A council decision report said: “An application of this nature was inevitable; a 9,800 sqft mixed retail/leisure unit exceeds the requirements of many operators and as a result, the unit has lain vacant since the closure of the bowling alley.
“The applicant has an opportunity to bring at least part of the floor space back into use by converting it into a gymnasium.
“Given the site occupies a prominent location on the edge of the town centre, the fact that it being vacant for some time and the proposed use is acceptable, the proposed sub-division of the unit into two is acceptable.
“The business model the gym operator has adopted allows for access to the gym 24 hours a day.
“The surrounding land uses are commercial in nature and include a cinema and a McDonald’s restaurant which also operate late into the evening and open early in the morning.
“In light of this the impact of a 24-hour use of the unit is unlikely to have a detrimental impact on the neighbouring uses.”