Parking space row puts fitness last

'FRUSTRATING': Coun Kath Pinnock and PJ's owner Kathryn Cooke are furious with KAL's parking policy.
'FRUSTRATING': Coun Kath Pinnock and PJ's owner Kathryn Cooke are furious with KAL's parking policy.

A ROW has broken out about parking outside two of Spen’s fitness centres.

PJ’s Health and Fitness Village, in Cartwright Street, Cleckheaton, has seen its popularity surge in recent years, with customers flocking to its daytime fitness classes for children and adults.

The complex is next to Spenborough Pool and Fitness Centre, run by Kirklees Active Leisure, which owns a car park that is not used during the day.

KAL has refused to allow PJs customers to park in the empty plot, to the anger of owner Kathryn Cooke.

“People come in to do a class and they can’t find anywhere at all to park. Now KAL staff have put barriers up stopping people getting in,” she said.

“We do a lot for the community, putting on free classes in schools and encouraging people to be active and healthy.

“We run a variety of children’s classes every week, to get children active from birth.

“We are not in competition because we offer the daytime children’s classes, while they don’t.

“It’s because of these classes in the daytime that there’s a problem. The evening is not an issue.

“These days, we have to work so hard to run a business and when you get something like this, it just sabotages all our work.”

However, a spokesman for KAL disagreed.

He said: “PJ’s was given planning permission for its business on the basis of having enough car parking spaces, located within the surrounding area.

“While KAL obviously would not wish parents to cross the busy car park with babies and young children to attend baby ballet classes at PJ’s, this should have been considered before promoting such a session.

“We have to operate in a very tough economic climate and offering our car parking spaces to a nearby privately owned competitor is not something we would agree to.”

Coun Kath Pinnock said she was ‘extremely disappointed’ by the response and would continue to work on behalf of PJ’s to resolve the issue.