Gym looks for way for­ward af­ter clo­sure

Southern Telegraph - - News - David Sal­vaire

A Wel­lard gym­na­sium that was forced to close af­ter breach­ing zon­ing rules is work­ing with the City of Kwinana to find a so­lu­tion, fol­low­ing a flood of com­mu­nity sup­port.

Fear­wot Gym had been op­er­at­ing for six years at owner Jodie Lehman’s prop­erty be­fore a neigh­bour com­plained in Jan­uary, alert­ing the City to the breach.

The gym had about 80 clients and of­fered spe­cialised train­ing in short classes for peo­ple with per­sonal is­sues like body dys­mor­phia and de­pres­sion.

A ret­ro­spec­tive ap­pli­ca­tion for the gym to be con­sid­ered a home oc­cu­pa­tion – well­ness cen­tre was pre­sented at last Wed­nes­day’s coun­cil meet­ing.

More than 30 sup­port­ers packed the City cham­bers as coun­cil­lors voted to de­lay a de­ci­sion on the fu­ture of the gym un­til Jan­uary.

In the com­ing weeks, Ms Lehman said she ex­pected to meet with City of­fi­cers to look at ways to keep the gym op­er­at­ing, in­clud­ing a pos­si­ble move to the Ca­sua­r­ina Hall.

“The coun­cil­lors that were there were ex­cel­lent and we can’t wait to see what the meet­ings be­tween now and Jan­uary bring out,” she said.

“Ev­ery in­di­vid­ual that at­tends Fear­wot has a strug­gle story that pre­vents them from go­ing to a com­mer­cial gym.

“If this fa­cil­ity shuts down, then these peo­ple will have nowhere to go and their health will go back­wards.”

Mayor Carol Adams said the City would con­tinue to of­fer sup­port and guid­ance, while pro­vid­ing ad­vice on the suit­abil­ity of al­ter­na­tive sites but said there were no plans to amend the plan­ning laws.

“This is an in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion for all in­volved and we ab­so­lutely sym­pa­thise with the own­ers and pa­trons of Fear­wot — there is no doubt they are loyal and pas­sion­ate,” she said.

“How­ever, plan­ning laws ex­ist to pro­tect and en­hance the qual­ity of life for all res­i­dents within a neigh­bour­hood, so it is im­por­tant we work to­gether to try and find a le­gal so­lu­tion.

“A ques­tion was asked dur­ing the coun­cil meet­ing about the Town Plan­ning Scheme and how it in­flu­ences per­mit­ted land uses. While gen­eral in­for­ma­tion was pro­vided at the time, the City is not propos­ing to com­mence a scheme amend­ment.”

Fear­wot Gym owner Jodie Lehman with sup­port­ers Tanya McLach­lan, Suzi Ben­nett, Natalie Rann and Dion Har­ris.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.