AN INFLATABLES play centre will have a new home in Flintshire as plans have been given the green light.
Flintshire Council’s planning department has approved a change of use application for a former industrial unit, Brymau Two, on River Lane in Saltney.
The team behind the popular Inflatabubble, which is currently based over the border in Chester at the grounds of The Catholic High School in Handbridge, has been given the go-ahead for the new location.
As well as creating more employment opportunities, the plans included additional staff parking and cycle storage to be created at the back of the site.
A planning statement submitted by agents FOB Design on behalf of the applicants outlined the proposals.
It said: “The vision is ’to get young people off screens and partake in fun physical active play’, in particular, the nine to 12 year age group who may feel they are becoming too old for soft play yet still requiring parental supervision.
“To achieve this, they would offer a range of indoor play equipment, primarily ‘inflatables’ to entertain a spectrum of ages and abilities.
“They have spent two years working with and listening to customers to hone what is beneficial and sought by the local young community.
The applicants currently manage a smaller outlet at weekends in a school sports hall in Chester, Inflatabubble.”
The statement added: “Unfortunately this is far from ideal for a number of reasons, not least the fact it takes three hours of time and six members of staff to make it look presentable on a Friday evening and the same to pack it away again at the end of each weekend.
“Despite the drawbacks, Inflatabubble has proven extremely successful with the applicants frequently having to turn away customers through a lack of infrastructure and capacity at the venue.
“They have consequently been looking for larger premises for a couple of years in which to find a permanent home for the facility.”
According to the planning documents submitted with the application, a move to larger premises will enable the team to work more closely with those communities and the charities that support them.
They are also considering employing a qualified early years teacher to help run educational toddler sessions during term time and a new, bespoke sensory room.
The planning statement also suggested jobs could be created as a result of gaining the new premises: “The applicant is keen to emphasise that many of the new employment opportunities would be of good quality and with longer term prospects.
“Training, qualifications (such as NVQ) and personal / professional development are all critical to success and status within this challenging and competitive sector and it is hoped that this would be of particular attraction to younger applicants.”
Flintshire Council’s planning officer James Beattie granted the application in a delegated decision.
In an officer’s report confirming the planning approval, Mr Beattie said: “There are a number of leisure and other uses in the vicinity and it has proved to be a compatible form of use within this wider industrial context.
“The building has been vacant since November 2021 and has been marketed since this time.
“Additionally, the building dates from the 1970’s and requires significant investment to bring it up to current building regulation standards. It is considered that the proposal would therefore be a beneficial development to the wider area.”
He adds: “It is considered that the proposal is acceptable with regards to policy, and there are no concerns with regard to technical matters such as parking and flood risk.”