The use of a Lyme Regis gymnasium for 24 hours is permitted – for a temporary period of one year.

The Dorset Council Area Planning Committee agreed to the change to B! Uplyme Road Health and Fitness Club, open since 2015.

The schedule change could result in a slight increase in staff, possibly adding an additional person to the current four full-time and three part-time positions.

The family business, founded by Craig Bernhardt with his wife Sarah with two children also involved in the club and its sister business in Honiton which opened in 2018 and is already operating around the clock.

The building is on the edge of the business park.

Current use is limited to 7:00 am to 9:00 pm Monday through Friday; From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays.

Lyme Regis City Council had expressed concern over the unlimited hours of operation, fearing disruption could occur to homes or other businesses in the area. The closest house to the site is 47 meters away. There were no public objections to the proposed changes.

The Dorset Council West and South Planning Committee unanimously approved the change, for a temporary period of one year, with conditions that include a ban on the use of amplified music or speech without authorization.

The committee heard that other 24-hour gyms are operating in Axminster and Dorchester, for workers whose jobs prevent them from using the gyms during conventional office hours. Access outside of normal hours will be reserved for members using a secure keypad system.

Committee members were told that if the one-year authorization did not go without complaint, the consent could become permanent.

The company and its members have raised over £ 10,000 for local charities including Macmillan Cancer, Lyme Regis RNLI, the Honiton Admiral Nurse Dementia Campaign and the Lyme Regis Memory Café.