Kickboxing club lands on its feet with new base

Members of Hastings Kickboxing Academy
Members of Hastings Kickboxing Academy

KICKBOXING instructor Carl Denne knows what it’s like to fight for what he wants.

He thought a year-long row with council planners had knocked him down when he was told his training facility had to close.

But just when all seemed lost Hastings Kickboxing Academy has now found a bigger venue at the 11th hour.

Mr Denne said he moved to an empty premises on the Castleham Industrial Estate more than a year ago and applied to the council four months later to ask if the unit could be used for training. But the authority refused permission, even though Mr Denne maintains that he was given the go-ahead by council building inspectors just before setting up shop.

The club is moving to William Parker Sports College in Parkstone Road on Monday (February 28). Mr Denne said: “Setting up the gym at the beginning of last year was the fulfilment of a dream I’ve had for 20 years. When council planners simply refused to listen to our arguments I was devastated. It will be sad to move from our gym at Castleham, as it’s mine and I created it with the help of family and friends.”

The additional space at William Parker is almost twice the 2,000 sq ft he has at Castleham.

Cllr Peter Chowney, the council’s lead member for planning, said: “In spite of the current economic situation, there is still demand for business premises in the town. When the economy improves it will be even more important that the town has good business premises available.

“Our planning policies are designed to avoid the loss of industrial and office business premises. So we refused the use of these premises for a kickboxing gym. “This decision was backed up by a government planning inspector when the decision went to appeal. I’m very pleased that the gym has been able to find new premises, but I think council officers do have to stick to our planning policies on these issues.”