Sandridge fitness club face eviction due to flats conversion plan
PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 September 2017
A fitness club has less than three months to find alternative headquarters because the building in which it is currently located is being turned into flats.
Absolute Wellness, which occupies space in an office building in High Street, Sandridge, has until the end of November to find another location as the premises are being converted into nine flats and three houses.
Members of the club are concerned that they will be unable to find a similar suitable location because the current office building allows them easy access to nearby sports fields as well as free parking.
Sarita Gray, who runs Absolute Wellness, said: “We run community fit clubs and regularly use Sandridge and Sandringham Schools in addition to the office and we hire Spencer Meadow’s sports field.
“If we go elsewhere we could lose a lot of clients and it’s difficult to find a place that will have the same access to sports halls and fields.”
Sarita said that landlord John Gibbons had been “very helpful” and had extended their stay until the end of November although work had already started on the conversion.
She fears that moving premises could lead to an increase in the price of the classes as other spaces would be too expensive.
She added: “I don’t want to have to put the prices up and have people see the club as something exclusive because I think everyone deserves to be fit and healthy, but at the same time we don’t want to be in debt.”
She is now exploring the option of renting out a lock-up to store the equipment and potentially working outdoors.
Club member, Helen Mair, of Sandridge, believes that it is “imperative” that the club remains in the area. She commented: “It would be difficult to find somewhere with similar parking and storage spaces.
“I hit 50 in May and as a result of these classes I’m the fittest I have ever been.”
She said the club was used by a vast age range and was very cheap with a supportive membership.
Mr Gibbons cited personal circumstances for deciding to convert the building which had been occupied by up to 70 tenants in the 27 years he had been landlord. He added: “With most of the tenants it’s always sad when you see them move on and that’s certainly the case with Sarita.”
Anyone who can help find a new space for the club can contact Sarita on 07753 174068 or firstname.lastname@example.org.