Phoenix Gym clears final hurdle for relocation plans

Tara O'Connor

After months of uncertainty the final condition of a controversial planning application has been approved.

This means Phoenix Gym’s long-awaited move to Fifield can go ahead.

The gymnastics club, which is currently based in Water Oakley, was been granted planning permission to move to a new site north of Longlea Nursing Home.

When it was approved in March 2016 a number of conditions were imposed.

The sixth condition was to provide a drainage statement, which was submitted a year ago.

It was a point of contention between the club and the Oakley Green and Fifield Community Association (OGAFCA) and Bray Parish Council.

OGAFCA and the parish council were concerned the site did not have adequate drainage, with water running into Fifield Ditch in Fifield Road.

On Thursday, March 29 the council approved the sustainable drainage documents.

A letter from the Royal Borough’s head of planning Jenifer Jackson states: “The responsibility for maintenance of the ditch falls to the riparian owners (landowners) along its course.”

It will be up to Phoenix Gym to maintain the ditch, making sure it does not become blocked with debris.

A survey as part of the application showed that the ditch is 0.9m to 1.2m deep at the moment and as part of the development it will be cleared making it 1.45m.

Before the conditions were met Phoenix Gym centre director Lynn Bushell described it as the ‘final hurdle’.

The new site has been leased to Phoenix for £300 a year by Summerleaze Ltd, a sand and gravel supplier based in Maidenhead.

The club, which has been running for 35 years, is in the process of raising £1.8million to fund the new gym.

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