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Cafe and boxing gym in Chessington threatened by planning row
A café and a boxing gym in Chessington could be under threat after they opened without planning permission.
Hunt’s Café and the Go Fit Go Box gym in the Cox Lane industrial estate did not fill in forms to ask for change of use from Kingston Council before they opened in January.
Employees from neighbouring businesses have flooded to the cafe and the gym has gained more than 1,300 members.
More than a dozen people work at the two businesses.
But south of the borough councillors voted to force owners to shut them down.
Landlord Richard Hunt said the prospect of closing the gym and cafe was “crazy”.
He added: “Everybody on that estate supported that gym.”
Roy Goff, who works at the gym, said: “It is supposed to be for the community.”
Richard Wortley, another employer on the estate, said he and his workers use the café regularly and it offered “a sense of community”.
The cafe and boxing gym could stay open if an appeal to the national planning inspectorate is successful, after the council refused retrospective planning permission in July.
Coun Vicki Harris, chairman of the council’s development control committee, said: “We have a planning regime in this borough, as most boroughs do, and it really annoys me when people think that they can come in and just do what they like.
“The work that has been done has really lifted the building, but it is still contrary to planning and it is still done without permission.”
South of the borough chairman Coun Rachel Reid said: “It does look better. It is never quiet. I cannot say that I dislike what is there.
“I do think that there has been a complete ignoring of the system.”
In a report to councillors, officers admitted the café and gym do not impact negatively on the character of the area, or create “unreasonable nuisance” or disturbances.
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