By Tristan Harris Monday 07 October 2013 Updated: 10/10 00:05
THERE were celebrations at Bromsgrove Council House tonight (Monday) after retrospective planning permission was given to Verve Matial Arts meaning it can continue at its Aston Fields base.
Officers had recommended the application for the unit be refused on grounds the land should be used for employment purposes not leisure.
But, after a 610-strong petition and representations by the club and Coun Chris Bloore, who was standing in for the unavailable ward councillor Sean Shannon, the committee voted unanimously to give it the green light.
The Standard has reported how the club caters for 220 people aged between four and 65 and employs six instructors.
Almost 50 members, family and friends were present in the chamber as the proposal was discussed with each councillor getting a round of applause as they spoke in support of Verve, of its virtues and the positive aspects on the community.
After all members agreed that the officers' recommendation should be overturned, Coun Mark Bullivant put forward an alternative proposal that was seconded by Coun John Tidmarsh before being voted through by ten votes to none.
Those gathered in the public gallery cheered as the result was announced, enabling the club to stay permanently at its Sherwood Road home.
Owner John Swift launched the fitness sessions alongside the business, which ships out martial arts clothing and equipment to copious countries around the world.
It is a distribution warehouse in the daytime - from 9am to 5pm - with the clubs running from 6pm to 9pm on four evenings.
Mr Swift said he had been overwhelmed by the support the club had received from its members, their families and the public.
"It was a relief that it went in our favour - we have had such a positive impact on the community.
"I was told beforehand it could go either way so I'm pleased we got the right result."
Coun Bloore said he had never seen a reaction like it from all members of the planning committee at once.
"I'm absolutely gobsmacked - I'm delighted for John, the staff and all the people at Verve.
"Common sense has won the day and people will be able to continue to use this club, which is a real community asset."
Coun Tidmarsh echoed the thoughts of many other councillors as he praised Mr Swift's entrepreneurial skills for globally exporting martial arts equipment and its role in the Bromsgrove community.
"They are supplying goods worldwide but, more importantly, they are supplying good citizens to Bromsgrove," he added.
A MAN was held yesterday (Thursday) on suspicion
RUBERY beauty salon Tantastic raised £267.82 when they
FORMER Civic Head, Coun Janice Boswell, has donated
A TASTE of Europe was on offer for
A WOMAN from Redditch has been found dead in Bolton. ...
NADHIM Zahawi has hit out at a massive proposed pay ...
AS WE get ready to launch the Worcester Observer next ...