Oasis Sport and Leisure Club closes member’s service after failed development bid

Oasis sports & leisure club in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Bill Smith

Oasis sports & leisure club in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Bill Smith

The Oasis Sports and Leisure Club has closed after a failed bid to rejuvenate the site following years of losses.

Oasis sports & leisure club in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Bill Smith

Oasis sports & leisure club in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Bill Smith

Owner of the business, Andre Serruys, said there will now be 'significant redundancies', but smaller companies will continue to operate out of the centre in Thorpe St Andrew.

In a last-ditch attempt to rectify its losses, the Serruys Property Group had lodged plans with Broadland District Council to redevelop the centre and attach 27 new homes.

But last Thursday the planning committee voted against the recommendations of their officers and turned down the application, citing the loss of green space, possible over-development of the area and the danger to great-crested newts.

At the committee Sue Lawn, district councillor for Thorpe St Andrew South East, said: 'It's illegal to tamper with their habitat and to move 56 trees and five groups – I don't find that acceptable.

'It also concerns me that the properties are serious over-development.'

'Despite recommendations to approve from the planning officers, members of the committee saw fit to refuse the application,' said Mr Serruys. 'The reasons for refusal are as bizarre as they are unclear.

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'Part of the submission to the planning committee cited the fact that the current Oasis business has been loss making for many years now and the construction of a brand new facility was seen by the directors as the only logical remedy.

'That option has now been thwarted at the hands of the Broadland Council planning committee and thus it is, with a heavy heart, that on May 31 the Oasis will close its doors as a members' club.'

Mr Serruys added his creditors would be paid in full, and events already booked will be honoured.

In total, 18 members of staff are being laid off, and Oasis will only be charging the remaining businesses rent.

'We simply cannot continue to fund the losses without the comfort of the knowledge that we can build a new facility,' he said.

'There will be significant redundancies.

'All members, staff and trade creditors will be paid by the parent company in full. No direct debits for monthly membership payments will be collected on June 1 or thereafter.

'All of the many functions which are booked will be honoured and catered for just as would have been the case had the club continued.'

Small businesses already at the club including the provision of beauty treatment, therapy treatment, Polefusion, photography, ESKA, shark swimming, Aquafit, hairdresser, Aspire, Babyfit and exercise classes will continue to operate as before.

For more information visit www.oasisslc.co.uk