Plans to transform three units at a North East leisure complex to pave the way for a new bowling alley and gym have been given the green light.

Under plans by Legal and General Property, the former Starters restaurant, DW Fitness First Club and the current Contemporary hair salon at Middlesbrough Leisure Park will be turned into a bowling alley on the ground floor and a new gym upstairs. The firm snapped up the Marton Road park from Highpoint Estates in 2014 in a £21.25m deal.

The building already has approval for leisure use and Middlesbrough Council’s head of planning has now passed a scheme to refurbish the three units and make changes to the façade. This will include a new entrance with shopfront glazing and new cladding.

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Next to the Cineworld complex, the building would have darker-shaded cladding with parts of the existing glazing on the southern side removed and filled in to match existing brickwork.

A condition has been set by the council, requesting further details of the colour of the cladding before work is carried out.

A council report, which recommended approval of the scheme, said: “The works are considered to be in keeping with the existing building and will utilise high quality materials, providing a positive addition to the appearance of the street scene. The location of the proposed development means there is no adverse impact on the amenity of the neighbouring land users and residents.”

The swimming pool in the building will be taken out while the escalator in the building will be removed and replaced with a fire escape stair. An existing lift will either be replaced or refurbished.

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Contemporary director Alan Simpson previously confirmed that the salon would be affected by the proposals but remains open as usual. He said Legal and General is hoping to offer them a relocation at the park.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has contacted Legal and General for further information, given the council’s approval of the plans.

In a letter to the planning department, Lichfields planning consultancy said the development “offers an exciting opportunity to the bring the site, which is currently underused, back into active use and expand upon existing leisure provision in the town centre”.