Ladies keep fit class is facing the boot

Bikini Boot Camp has been operating from premises in Bellshill.

Bikini Boot Camp has been operating from premises in Bellshill.

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Keep fit enthusiasts aren’t what you expect to find among heavy vehicles and steel fabricators in an old-style industrial estate.

And now ladies working out in a vacant factory unit in Bellshill have been warned they might have to find another base.

Planners insist industrial areas are not appropriate sites for gyms, and that’s bad news for Bikini Body Bootcamp.

An application by Melanie Soares to convert a unit in Reema Road Industrial Estate was turned down by North Lanarkshire planners and an appeal against that decision was rejected by councillors.

However, the Times & Speaker has discovered that the bootcamp is already operating from other premises in the estate - without planning permission.

Ms Soares, from Motherwell, told the council the unit she wants to use has lain empty almost constantly since 1999. Its condition has “deteriorated considerably” and it’s likely to be demolished because there’s no interest from traditional industry.

She said obesity in North Lanarkshire is a “huge” problem, adding: “I am very proud to offer a training and education environment for many women who need help locally to exercise and learn how to eat well for health and wellbeing.”

Ms Soares said surrounding businesses, which include truck maintenance, plant hire and steel fabricators, are “extremely encouraging and supportive” and they suggested having Bikini Body Bootcamp as neighbours would attract more business to the industrial estate.

However, planners said the gym would bring an “unacceptable non-industrial use to an established industry and business area”. Last year the council rejected plans for a gym in nearby Righead estate for the same reason.

Asked about the bootcamp already operating in another unit at Reema Road, a council spokesman said: “We are aware of this and are considering what action might be required.”

Ms Soares could not be contacted for comment.