Objection to ex-Derry gym boss venture

Mehran Ghanbari
Mehran Ghanbari

The former boss of a Derry gym, which closed in 2011 leaving members out of pocket, has opened a new facility in Limerick without planning permission.

Dozens of residents on St Joseph Street, Limerick, have objected to plans by former Platinum Gym boss Mehran Ghanbari to retain the use of a former warehouse as Kings Gym, complaining of loud music pumping from the premises until late into the evening.

Mr Ghanbari, a native of Iran, was declared bankrupt following a petition by his former landlord in Derry to a Belfast court in April 2011.

Kings Gym has been operating from a former light industrial warehouse on St Joseph Street since late last year. No membership fees apply with patrons given a day pass for three euro and a monthly pass for 20 euro.

Former customers and staff at Mr Ghanbari’s Platinum Gym in Springtown claimed they had been left out of pocket in 2011 when that enterprise suddenly closed its doors. Some customers claimed the gym had been accepting membership fees hours before the shutters came down.

Almost 30 residents on St Joseph Street and Wolfe Tone Street have objected to retention to Limerick City Council over “low frequency thumping and muffled dance music constantly audible from the building and vibrating through to the interiors of the surrounding homes”.

A sign hanging outside the gym entrance does request patrons to keep noise levels down out of respect for the neighbours.

Labour’s Colr Joe Leddin said: “There isn’t a problem with the business itself, it’s just that it’s the wrong location. As everybody who knows the area will tell you, you can’t swing a cat on St Joseph Street,” he said.