A NEW hotel and gym in Winnersh has been given to the go-ahead, on the site of the recently shut down Pulse 8 gym.

Planners granted permission for Nirvana Spa to build the two-storey hotel and demolish the old gym yesterday (May 21).

But people living nearby will not be able to use the replacement gym unless they become full members of the spa. Before the old gym was shut down, people could just be members of the gym.

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Kayleigh Mansfield, planning officer at Wokingham Borough Council, detailed the new plans to the planning committee. She said: “The historic arrangement was that residents could be members of the Pulse 8 gym and have a standalone membership. This will no longer be the case.

“That doesn’t mean the facilities are not available to the residents of Wokingham borough. It simply means they will have to join the spa membership. The gym will be exclusively used for customers of the hotel and members of the spa.”

People living nearby could be disappointed by the change, councillors warned.

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Councillor Stephen Conway said: “It’s not entirely good news, I expect, for lots of people in Winnersh.”

Cllr Simon Weeks said: “It’s probably a matter of regret for local residents, if they do not have the facility they could previously just be membership of the gym”.

The hotel and gym will create 100 jobs, employing 25 more than were at Pulse 8.

Planners refused previous designs for the hotel in March last year. The spa then took a whole storey off of the designs, meaning the hotel will now only be two storeys tall. The designs also now have more windows, and the gym will cover the whole of the basement.

Neighbours were concerns about noise from a new roof garden. But Ms Mansfield said the hotel will shut the roof garden at 9pm, and will put up a glazed screen and plants to protect the privacy of people living nearby, and to prevent any noise disturbing them.