A RUN-DOWN sports pavilion in Bovey Tracey could be reborn as a gym.

Plans have been submitted to convert the former football building at the recreation ground in Ashburton Road into a gym. 

Owned by Bovey Tracey Town Council, the unoccupied pavilion has run into a state of disrepair since Bovey Tracey Football Club relocated completely in 2022.

The aim is to improve the look of the building, create employment by reusing a redundant property and incrpavilioease revenue for the town council. 

The plans submitted to Teignbridge Council are for external alterations to the single-storey flat-roof building and change of use. 

The minor external work is needed to maintain and update the appearance of the building and the planning changes are to allow future use as a gym.

The former sports pavilion at Bovey Tracey Recreation Ground that could  have a new lease of life as a gym.
The former sports pavilion at Bovey Tracey Recreation Ground that could have a new lease of life as a gym. (-)

A statement to planners says: ‘The proposals will bring significant aesthetic enhancement to a current eyesore and incorporate carbon reduction measures - all whilst benefiting the wellbeing and heath of the local community through improved amenity and increased revenue for the town council which will ultimately be fed back into the community.’

Reaction to the proposals has been positive with it being described as a ‘terrific asset’ to the town, and ideal place next to the pool and a ‘brilliant idea’.

Originally intended as a satellite clubhouse, the football club has increasingly refocused their attention towards the superior playing surface, changing, equipment storage and clubhouse facilities of their main home at Mill March Ground. 

Although the club no longer have any need for secondary clubhouse facilities, it continues to use the Recreational Ground’s football pitch as a venue for their Sunday League youth teams. Given the building’s derelict condition, the club was keen to surrender the  lease considering the potentially crippling burden of the repair and maintenance bills. 

The now redundant building was widely marketed for an extended period by a commercial agent which invited a broad spectrum of uses. 

Bovey Tracey currently lacks a gym, the nearest being Finlake Holiday Park in Chudleigh or further afield to Newton Abbot. 

The proposal is seen as a chance to improve the amenity for residents in a closer location. 

The planning statement adds: ‘Furthermore, the absence of any local competition serves to strengthen the viability of the enterprise and with it safeguard the long-term future of the building.’

A survey conducted by the town council in 2022 showed support for a gym. 

It is also considered that a gym in this location will complement existing swimming pool, tennis, bowls and cricket buildings. 

The existing building is considered of low standard in design and material quality, made worse by its present condition of disrepair.

The interior is in an even worse condition and desperately in need of a complete overhaul.

Despite the building’s plain appearance and poor condition, it enjoys a far-reaching southern aspect over the cricket green and a dense ever green planted boundary back drop to the north. 

It is also of relatively modern, seemingly sound, watertight construction, and offers plenty of scope for enhancement.

The proposals will be considered by Teignbridge Council planners.