A Crawley hotel has got planning permission for plans which involved it closing its gym despite a residents’ appeal to keep it open.
Crowne Plaza in Langley Drive, Langley Green, has closed The Elite Health Club to make way for a bar and restaurant.
Former club member Filomena Resce organised a petition earlier this year after learning that the space would be set aside for a new gym open to guests only.
She said: “It’s all about health and fitness today and warnings of obesity and what are they doing? They’re opening a restaurant.”
Filomena pointed out many members had been part of the club for more than 20 years and, during that time, the club had raised thousands for local charities.
Gym member Claire Dodoma spoke of the importance of the club to older people and added: “What they do is have their swim and then go for a coffee. It’s a social thing for them.”
Robert Nipper, general manager at the Crowne Plaza, said the hotel needed to accommodate the needs of its guests. He added all staff had been offered positions within the hotel chain but none opted to stay.
Crawley Borough Council officers have granted planning permission to the hotel’s bid to build a new external terrace area in front of where the building faces Tushmore Roundabout. Three parking spaces will be removed, doors for the terrace area would be made or replaced. A new cellar would also be made.
A planning officers’ document stated: “The proposal forms part of plans to reconfigure the internal space of the hotel by removing the existing swimming pool, gym and changing rooms to provide an upgraded bar area, restaurant and breakfast room to improve the existing catering facilities offered at the hotel.”
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