Weight loss centre plan for historic building

Pictured are Ann & Mark Bolger in their home The Towers,Brincliffe Cres
Pictured are Ann & Mark Bolger in their home The Towers,Brincliffe Cres
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A HISTORIC building in Sheffield could be converted from a private home into a residential centre for people with weight loss problems.

Plans have been drawn up for The Towers, a grade II-listed ‘French Gothic’ building in Brincliffe Crescent in the Nether Edge Conservation Area, which has been used previously as a grammar school, laboratories and offices.

The Towers, Brincliffe Crescent

The Towers, Brincliffe Crescent

Owners Mark and Ann Bolger are seeking council permission so the property, which dates from 1874, can be used to help people ranging from those trying to overcome obesity to those wanting to look their best for a special occasion.

“We think we’ll probably attract people who have got a wedding coming up and want to drop a dress size,” said Mr Bolger.

Details of the scheme have been submitted to the council, which will examine all the implications. Already representations have been made by some nearby residents concerned about the traffic on the road, which runs between Psalter Lane and Kingfield Road.

The Bolgers say any new use would preserve the architecture, history and fabric of the building. Any proposed alterations would be “minimal”.

In a submission to the council, obesity is described as a major health issue across the country, with Sheffield having a higher than average percentage. The proposed change is for “a healthy lifestyle and weight management residential centre” using up to seven bedrooms. It would also take day visitors.

Mr and Mrs Bolger, who have lived at The Towers for five years, say they are looking to pave the way for a business that would give advice on healthy eating and encourage clients to get fitter, such as by walking and cycling in the Peak District.

They say there would be no more traffic than at present, and they have no intention of causing problems, especially since they already own the building that accommodates a Montessori nursery school, which shares the grounds with The Towers. Clients would picked up and dropped off so they do not have to use their own cars.

“It would be a quiet business,” said Mr Bolger, who also owns a decorating business, student properties and a care home. “We are considering a move to somewhere with a bit more privacy but nothing is set in stone. Even if we get permission, it’s not 100% we’ll go ahead with it.”

He was happy to talk to residents who wanted to raise any issues. “We don’t want to do anything that would be detrimental to the neighbours.”

Some residents of Brincliffe Crescent are concerned about the existing parking pressures linked to the nursery school and the nearby synagogue, social centre and primary care trust offices. If the council is minded to support the application, thought should be given to reconsidering a one-way system for the crescent, says one householder.

Another resident says that at certain times of the day, the crescent “is like a rat run”, making it difficult for residents to use their drives and with the risk of accidents.

“The road is very narrow and when cars park on the pavements and verge, which is a daily occurrence, it is impossible to walk in safety along the crescent.

“To increase the volume of traffic on the crescent is totally unacceptable.”