Gym that shut at the start of the Covid pandemic to be converted into a large new bazaar including shops and restaurant

A gym that shut at the start of the Covid pandemic can be converted into a large new bazaar including shops and a restaurant.

The Xercise4Less gym on Preston Street in Listerhills shut in March 2020, and the building is the proposed location of a new retail and food market called Signature Mall Bradford.

The proposed business will “revolutionize the retail landscape of the UK” and include a Michelin-starred restaurant – according to its website.

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Simrans Trading Ltd, the company behind the plans, recently wrote to Bradford Council to seek permission to change the use of the building.


The company argued that due to recent changes to planning rules made by the Government, the new market/bazaar would fall under the same planning category as a gym – class E, and so a full planning application would not be required.

Planning officers agreed, and the new business can now go ahead.

The plans show that the gym building – next to the award-winning Fighting Cock pub – would be divided into shops, restaurants, offices, a creche and a restaurant.

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The company’s website, which says the business will open in autumn, says: “The Signature Mall will revolutionize the retail landscape of the UK.

“This mall will integrate the finest food, fashion, and leisure.

“The mall will provide exclusive access to Pakistan’s most popular retail brands and eateries, attracting a customer base from across the UK.

“The mall will include 40 retail units, an exclusive Michelin-star restaurant and a food court in which will accommodate 500+ customers.

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“We are looking for luxury and international brands who are in the market for a retail space to house their flagship stores.”

The application said: “The gym closed on March 23, 2020, when the UK Government-issued its first ‘stay at home order’ and has since closed permanently and the applicants seek to plan for the future viable use of the site.

“The formal regularisation of the premises as a Class E use will help to secure the long term viable use of the premises as a commercial, business and service use and will allow it to be marketed with clarity for a diversity of uses and it is hoped will encourage entrepreneurial development that will help to regenerate and kick start the local economy.”

Planning officers said: “It would appear that the proposal is being subdivided internally to accommodate the formation of a new indoor market/bazaar.

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“The banners on the external elevation of the property would also allude to the building being used as a market/bazaar.

“The internal subdivision shows the creation of several smaller units but all appear to be in Class E use.

“It is clear from the evidence provided and the relevant legislation that the proposed use of the site falls within Class E- Commercial, Business and Service.

“The Local Planning Authority confirms its opinion that the proposal is lawful and that planning permission is not required.”

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