PLANS to turn the former Total Fitness gym into a DIY store will be heard by councillors on Thursday.

Developer Rob Foden is looking to convert the Winwick Road gym, which closed controversially last year, into a Range store.

The application will be discussed by members of the council’s development management committee at 6.30pm after it was deferred three weeks ago to allow Mr Foden to serve notice on people interested in the site.

Council bosses have recommended the application be approved but say new traffic lights, proper parking will be needed and they want to make sure jobs go to people living nearby.

The shop is expected to provide around 120 jobs, the equivalent of 72 full time posts.

There has been no complaints from residents or neighbours, despite the application being outside what would normally be agreed - because special reasons are needed to open out of town stores.

A spokesman said: “It is considered that overriding weight should be attached to the material factors of job creation and the prevention of the long term vacancy arising near a main road corridor.”

The gym closed in September.