Chichester’s Lidl is set to become a gym after a decision by planning officers this week.
The discount food retailer is due to move to a new store under construction around the corner in Westhampnett Road, as part of phase two of the Barnfield Drive development.
‘Several’ potential occupiers are understood to be interested running a 24-hour gym facility at the retailer’s existing premises in Portfield Way.
Approving the change of use from retail to leisure, officers stipulated that a noise management plan be submitted before any change of use took place.
Supporting the application, the district council’s economic development team wrote that retail parks were coming ‘under pressure from other uses’ as the retail industry changed.
It wrote: “The Economic Development team supports this application as it provides active commercial use for the site.
“There is excellent parking and access arrangements and could make a good location for the type of gym that is anticipated.
“We have no objections to the site being operated for 24 hours a day as a gym.
“This could be considered to be a benefit for the local workforce who are employed on a wide range of flexible working patterns, for example Rolls Royce employees.”
Officers noted an expected reduction in traffic to the site as a result of usage changes and the minimal likelihood of significant usage overnight.
See application reference 19/01727/FUL.