PLANS for a Helensburgh gym to be converted into a cycle hire shop have been given the go-ahead by council chiefs.

Loch Lomond Leisure made the application for the premises formerly owned by The Journey at 24 West Clyde Street last summer.

Planning permission for the development, which includes an area of footway outside the store to be used for the display of bikes, has now been granted by Argyll and Bute Council.

No representations, expressing either support or objection, were received from members of the public. The Journey vacated the building when it moved to its current premises in Colquhoun Square.

In a handling report, a council planning officer said: “The premises will be used primarily as a central administrative office related to the tenants’ existing business of water-based leisure/boat/canoe hire at Loch Lomond.

“However, it is also proposed that it will be open to the public to enquire about the services available and to book tickets. In addition, members of the public will also be able to hire bicycles from the premises.

“An area of the public footway outside of the premises is indicated for the open display of bikes for hire, during office hours.

“This element of the proposed use is not operational development and having regard to the nature and scale of the use for the parking of hire bikes, is considered to be ‘de minimis’; and as such, that express planning permission for a change of use of land is not required in this instance.

“However, it is proposed that an informative note be issued with the decision notice making the applicant aware that the proposed display of cycles on the public footway may require the agreement/approval of the council as roads authority.”

The officer added: “It is considered that the proposed new business will have a positive impact upon the adjacent businesses who will benefit from additional trade from customers.

“Bringing the ground floor back into an active use will also increase vitality and focus regeneration within the surrounding area.”