Galashiels gym bid given thumbs-up so long as it doesn’t raise a racket

Galashiels gym boss Tekin Esmer.
Galashiels gym boss Tekin Esmer.

Plans to open a gym next door were anything but music to the ears of office workers in Galashiels so personal trainer Tekin Esmer has been ordered to exercise restraint over the noise levels it generates.

Tekin submitted a bid to Scottish Borders Council to convert former offices at 50 to 52 Island Street into Tek’s Fitness, but that application was a cuse for concern for Ferguson Planning Consultants, the occupant of the neighbouring property at No 54 .

Company owner Tim Ferguson sought assurances that noise levels from the new gym would not be a cause of disturbance or distraction for his staff.

He said: “We wish to be absolutely clear that the noise levels created by the proposal do not impact on the running of our business, which requires relative silence while working on reports.

“The use of weights and taking classes may involve dropping of heavy equipment and playing loud music.

“There is no soundproofing in place, and we would certainly seek that further clarity on the matter is provided and that decibel levels are kept below that required for an office-residential environment by way of condition given that’s what is adjoining either side of this property.”

In response to those concerns, council planners have told Tekin that silence is golden and the opposite is anything but.

Having secured guarantees from him that windows will be closed at all times so there is no risk of his business raising an unreasonable racket, his planning bid has now been approved.

Lead planning officer Carlos Clarke said: “A key risk to the amenity of neighbouring uses, including businesses, is noise nuisance, but having visited and inspected the property, we are confident that the noise levels can be controlled if the windows, limited to the rooflights in this case, are fixed shut.”

Mr Esmer has been a fitness instructor for 16 years and has worked across the Borders as a self-employed personal trainer.

However, five years ago he decided to take a break to open the Waffle Good coffee shop in Galashiels’ Market Street and later took on the Bank Street Cafe elsewhere in the town.

Tekin, 42, of Melrose, is now swapping kettles for kettlebells, however, and has sold the cafe so he can return to working in fitness.