Expansion plans for gym based in Rushden’s former Peter Crisp building

The proposed gym extension
The proposed gym extension

A gym based in a former department store could be extended if plans are given the go-ahead.

Anytime Fitness has applied to extend its gym based in part of the former Peter Crisp building in Church Street, Rushden.

The gym is based in part of the former Peter Crisp building in Rushden

The gym is based in part of the former Peter Crisp building in Rushden

It wants to use a section of the ground floor of the existing building, which has been vacant since 2009, to provide a free weights area for the existing gym which is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

The proposed free weights area represents approximately a 37 per cent increase in the gym’s existing floorspace.

Documents submitted as part of the application state: “The proposed extension to the existing gym provides an opportunity to utilise a vacant unit in a highly sustainable and accessible location in a viable manner.”

Anytime Fitness was given planning permission to change the use of two vacant groundfloor units of the Peter Crisp building in Church Street from retail to a gym last year.

It is a franchise which has more than 3,300 clubs worldwide, including more than 100 in the UK.

The Rushden gym is based in the building which used to be the home of Peter Crisp, a store which first opened in the High Street in 1959 before expanding and taking over much of the corner of High Street and Church Street.

But after celebrating 50 years in business, the department store closed in 2009 with just the kitchen and bathroom design studio remaining open.

As well as the gym, a section of the building is now home to a Tesco Express store.

The application by Anytime Fitness for change of use of part of the ground floor from retail use to leisure (gymnasium) use will be considered by East Northants Council.