BALWEARIE Gymnastics is set to move into new premises after an appeal to Fife Council was upheld.
The club had applied last summer to move from its home of over 30 years at Balwearie High School to a unit in the Mitchelson Industrial Estate but required a change use from ‘industrial to ‘leisure’.
This request had been turned down initially as the Council ruled that the building “lies within an area allocated for employment use”.
However an appeal heard by a review panel on Monday overturned the original decision leaving the club free to move into its new premises – and to take on some new members.
Lorraine Crawford, club administrator and assistant coach, said “We’re absolutely delighted. It’s the outcome we were hoping for.
“I honestly didn’t think we’d win but Karen Adam of Adam McPhail Chartered Architects did the appeal for us free of charge and did a wonderful job.
“Her daughter is a club member and she felt very strongly that we had a case. Without her help I don’t think we’d have won.”
The club was in danger of closing after they were threatened with a rise in rent which they would not have been able to afford.
“It was almost double the amount,” Lorraine said. “There’s no way we could have put that cost onto the parents so the future was looking gloomy.”
The club currently has around 200 members with 100 more on the waiting list and Lorraine says that they should now be able to take on a lot more members.
“Some of them have been waiting for two years, so it’s been very frustrating,” she said. “But now we’re planning to offer midweek classes which we couldn’t do before, as well as classes for toddlers, and now we don’t have to close during school holidays.”
The club plans to move into its new home over the Easter holidays.
“There’s a lot of work to do now,” said Lorraine. “It’s quite daunting but it’s very exciting also. It’s full steam ahead!”