A GYM firm has been granted permission to set up shop at a former factory site in County Durham.

Earlier this year, plans were lodged for Kent House, in Mandale Business Park, Belmont Industrial Estate, on the outskirts of Durham.

The unit forms part of redevelopment plans for the former LG Philips site.

The television parts factory closed in 2005 with ‘phase one’ of redevelopment including office buildings, a restaurant unit and car parking.

As one of several applications linked to ‘phase two’, applicant Ultraflex Gym Limited lodged a bid to move into a unit on the site.

Despite a search for alternative bases in Durham, applicants said Mandale Business Park was the best site available.

A planning statement reads: “Although a gym is not economic development as such, it will employ people and provide a facility that can be used by local employees, as well as help [ing] enable and support healthy lifestyles.

“Crucially, it will not have any significant detrimental effects on the environment, the amenities of the occupiers of adjoining or nearby properties, or the development of neighbouring areas.

“Nor will it operate in a manner that will substantively change the overall employment character of the area.”

The new development will also provide an extra 25 car parking spaces at the east of the unit.

Following a period of consultation, Durham County Council approved the plans on Thursday, November 7.

Council planners agreed the gym would create limited noise, disturbance and traffic disruption.

Under planning conditions, work must start on the site within three years.

Kent House, which contains more than 20,000 sq ft of space, is currently unoccupied.

The Ultraflex application is to use 11,560 sq ft of the unit.

Ultraflex currently operates gyms in Leeds, Normanton, Rotherham, York and Hull and caters for both experienced strength athletes and beginner users.