THE "country's largest gym operator" will turn the old Halfords building in Dunfermline into a 24-hour facility. 

Pure Gym have been given the green light by Fife Council to convert the premises in Carnegie Retail Park, which have been empty for almost three years. 

The firm, launched in 2009, now has more than 150 branches throughout the UK and the Dunfermline operation will have studio space, a free weights area, spin studio, cardiovascular equipment, changing rooms and other ancillary facilities. 

Pure Gym members pay monthly and have no contract commitment.

A statement on behalf of the firm said: “It is clear that there is a strong demand for affordable and flexible fitness facilities, as demonstrated by the growth of Pure Gym over recent years and the success of its existing gymnasiums in Edinburgh and elsewhere within south-east Scotland. 

“The proposed development will support the vitality and viability of Dunfermline city centre and the diversity of uses present within the surrounding area. 

“It will create new jobs, make appropriate use of a currently vacant site, expand the commercial leisure offer of Dunfermline and provide affordable access to good-quality fitness facilities in a highly-sustainable location.”

The old Halfords building, next to Dunfermline Police Station and a short walk from the Carnegie Leisure Centre, has a gross floor space of more than 1,400 square metres with 65 parking spaces. 

Halfords moved to Halbeath Retail Park in September 2014. 

The council's transportation department had initially recommended refusal of the application, due to a perceived shortfall in parking, but after the firm submitted a transport statement, they were satisfied "there is adequate off-street parking within the applicant's control for gym users". 

There were also concerns about noise affecting residents in Gardeners Street and Holyrood Place and one objection was submitted but the council decided that "whilst the proposed gym would be operational 24 hours, it would not have a significant detrimental impact on neighbouring properties' amenity". 

There were also six letters of support for the application. 

Pure Gym's planning statement said the gym would not generate significant amounts of noise and would operate on a 24-hour basis to allow access for all, including shift workers. 

They said the number of visitors between 10pm and 6am would be around 10-12 per hour on a weekday, and lower at the weekend, with no classes held during these hours and only background music played in the gym.

The plan includes some external alterations, such as the removal of the entrance lobby and roller shutters and the installation of a new door.