SILENCE will be golden for retired Selkirk residents after a ‘headphones only’ gym was given the green light by Scottish Borders Council.

Applicant Floris Girdwood has received approval to convert a former light industrial unit at 10 Heatherlie Park into a fitness studio.

A local couple had raised concerns at the potential for noise and music from the gym causing a disturbance to local residents, many of whom are retired.

And a condition for approval was that no music could be played at the facility at any time.

In his report recommending approval, council assistant planning officer Alla Hassain, says: “The principle of a gym use is ordinarily preferred in the town centre. However, in this instance, any effect on the town centre would be reasonably balanced by the accessible location and the reuse of this site.

“The host building is located within a predominantly residential area, however given that it is fairly modest scale, occupied by an independently-run business as opposed to a large commercial gym, then it is considered the proposal complies with criteria.”

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One couple who had lived in the area for 32 years expressed some concerns at the application, particularly over noise and increased traffic, saying: “Heatherlie Park is primarily a residential area, with most residents retired.

“We have seen a number of businesses come and go. Undoubtedly the ideal occupation for this site was an office.

“Many gyms are open long hours, seven days a week, busy evenings and weekends. They use machines and play loud music.

“The building’s windows are not double glazed and I know from the previous occupant that operating machines can be heard inside houses.”

The application was agreed on the condition of a “headphones only” approach being adopted with the gym operating Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm, 8am to 1pm on a Saturday and closed on a Sunday.

Another condition that a maximum of 12 people can use the gym at one time.