FRESH plans to transform part of Sandhurst’s former Waitrose into a fitness centre could mean a family-run gym nearby goes out of business, according to worried residents.

Designs submitted in March showed the Yorktown Road store could be converted into an Aldi supermarket and a gym.

REVEALED: Waitrose to be converted into Aldi supermarket

The site would be split in two, with a larger part set to become Aldi and the smaller section to the south-west of Yorktown Road becoming a new “state-of-the-art” Energie Fitness Centre.

Bracknell News:

These plans would spark a major makeover for the area following Waitrose’s departure after 35 years in the town.

But some neighbours are not keen on the gym plans, with almost two dozen sending in objection letters to Bracknell Forest Council (BFC).

Several asked why the community needed a new gym given there are others in the town.

One wrote: “I strongly object to the building of a gym on the old Waitrose site. Our community does not need another gym with the well established Foundation Fitness practically next door and several others nearby.”

Bracknell News:

Another neighbour added: “Foundation Fitness is celebrating its 20 year anniversary on this site in July 2020 and has a large and loyal membership.

“It is a family-run independent business, not part of a large impersonal chain of gyms.

READ MORE: Designs show new gym set to move into former Waitrose site

“Opening another gym in such close proximity is unnecessary and threatens the business of an already popular and successful business.”

Other key concerns neighbours spelt out included worries about a lack of parking spaces at the site overall.

Bracknell News:

Planning papers suggest the changes to the building will mean the total number of parking spaces at the site will be reduced from 189 to 177.

Of these spaces, initial outlines indicate 41 will be allocated for users of the gym.

One resident commented: “This means that parking for Aldi will be entirely insufficient and at busy times will create queues out onto Yorktown Road which will be dangerous as one side of the road is not very far from a bend.”

READ MORE: Waitrose Sandhurst closes down

The proposals to turn the former Waitrose building into an Aldi and to transform a small section of it into a gym are being considered as two separate plans by councillors at a planning meeting next week (Thursday, July 16).

Despite neighbours’ concerns, planning officers have recommended the committee approves both applications.