Bracknell Rugby Club has run into difficulties over plans to replace its dilapidated outdoor gym at Lily Hill Park.

The club’s current outdoor gym has become plagued with weeds and battered by the weather. But a council highways officer questioned whether a new gym would cause parking problems at Lily Hill Park, and the club has now withdrawn its application for planning permission.

In its application, the club said its current gym is ‘no longer fit for purpose,’ and that it needs a new indoor one.

A planning statement said: “There is currently a lack of suitable gym facilities and the demand for fitness facilities has increased in recent years as the playing side of the club has improved.

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“The gym will provide a space for people to exercise and stay healthy, which is essential for physical and mental wellbeing.”

But a council highways officer said increased use of the new gym could ‘exacerbate’ problems at Lily Hill Park’s car park – especially on Sundays, when club matches also take place.

The officer said: “The current car park is widely used throughout the day for access to Lily Hill Park as well as the rugby club and by parents to the nearby school for drop off and pick up during the weekdays.

“The rugby club at weekends use the facility and the car park is regularly at full capacity with overspill parking occurring along Lily Hill Drive. Further demand from the gym could create further overspill to the detriment of road safety.”

A transport statement produced on behalf of the club said the gym would only be used by club members, and would be ‘specifically designed for rugby players.’

It also said non-playing club members would only have ‘limited’ access to the gym, when there are no training sessions for players. It said non-players would likely choose to use ‘conventional’ gyms not geared towards rugby players instead.

But the highways officer said he could not rely on this, as he had no information on the type of gym equipment to be used. And he said that equipment could also change over time.

He said: “The size of the facility including the outdoor gym area is significant for the scale of people expected and much larger than the previous gym use.

“It is acknowledged that the previous permission was being operated as a membership gym as well as for the use of the club and with the information before me I am not convinced the proposed facility would be any different and could attract greater numbers of visitors to the previous use on this part of the site.”