A step forward for ballet academy plan

The plans were approved by Huntingdonshire District Council.

The plans were approved by Huntingdonshire District Council. - Credit: Archant

A new ballet academy has moved a step in the right direction after it was given the go-ahead to open in a light industrial unit at Godmanchester.

The academy, at the Roman Way Industrial Estate, will teach a range of dance styles in classes of up to 15 and will have a maximum of three staff on duty at any one time.

Huntingdonshire District Council planners approved a change of use for the empty building following an application by Mark Swann.

The authority imposed a number of conditions on the move, including limiting opening times to 8.30am-9.30pm on weekdays, 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays and no opening on public holidays.

It also ruled that noise should be limited, including the closure of windows and doors if music is being played inside.

The applicants said the majority of the warehouse would become a dance area with a sprung floor and there would be a new student common room including changing facilities. There would be no external changes, apart from the installation of a sign.

A statement from the applicant said: "The proposed development is to change the use of the existing unit to a ballet academy offering nationally-recognised qualifications in dance, BTEC levels one, two, and three allowing aspiring dancers in the Cambridgeshire area, as well as further afield, to study their craft and pursue a career in the dance sector."

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It said most students would be aged 15 to 18 and were likely to walk or cycle to the building, rather than drive and there was parking space for them to be dropped off.

Planners said the unit was accessed from Roman Way and was surrounded by other small businesses.

"The surrounding employment within the business park is considered to be diverse with a mixture of light industrial uses and some businesses within the D2 class, including a fancy dress hire shop, two gym/training facilities and car repair and MOT businesses," their report said.

"The proposal would not have a significant adverse impact on the role and continuing viability of the established employment area as an attractive and suitable location for employment uses."

Godmanchester Town Council had recommended approved but asked the district council to advise the applicant that parking in residential areas was unacceptable and should be discouraged.