The fight’s still on’

PUBLISHED: 10:52 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:14 25 August 2010

A GYM S new home could still be on track despite the Mayor of London s cool response.

A GYM'S new home could still be on track despite the Mayor of London's cool response.

Len and Yvonne Arnold, who both live in and run the Europa Gym in Fraser Road, Erith, have been struggling for nearly two years to stay in business after the centre's rent doubled.

The club is home to weightlifter Zoe Smith, 15, from Abbey Wood, who has already been chosen for Team GB in the London 2012 Olympic Games and has several young hopefuls in boxing and gymnastics that could soon prove to be medal material.

The owner's hope their talent factorycan be rehomed on the site of the former Samas Roneo factory in Maiden Lane, Crayford and Barratt Homes plans to give the gym an undisclosed sum of money if the application, which includes a new gym with car parking, up to 254 residential units with parking and landscaping, gets the go ahead.

However the application submitted to Bexley council has to be modified after one of London's deputy mayors deemed the application not to be in keeping with the London Plan.

The eleven points deputy mayor Sir Simon Milton said they needed to address include, affordable housing, urban design, transport, noise, flood risk and air quality.

Now developers are modifying the application, which will again have to go for a compulsory consultation with the Greater London Authority (GLA).

A spokesperson for Barratt Homes said: "We fully expect the amended planning application to address all the issues raised by the mayor, and the council during the planning process. We are confident the application will meet policy requirements and deliver significant local amenities and much-needed new homes.

"As part of the normal planning process the developers are discussing the proposals with the London Borough of Bexley, the GLA, other stakeholders and local organisations. The application will be amended in response to feedback received.

"The applicant proposes to deliver much needed new homes and significant community benefits for Bexley. The proposals will provide as part of the normal Section 106 contributions part of the site and a financial contribution towards a new Europa Gym building.

"The application is being amended following feedback received as part of the usual planning process and will be determined by the Planning Committee of Bexley council in due course."

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