Decision on fate of Universal Yoga centre deferred for visit to site
A yoga centre threatened with imminent closure over a long-running planning dispute has been given a month-long stay of execution.
For more than four years, Charlotta Martinus, who owns Universal Yoga in Camerton, has been battling Bath and North East Somerset Council over the safety of its entrance.
Last week she pleaded her case at the council's planning committee as politicians debated whether to carry out enforcement action stopping her using the property on Red Hill as a yoga studio.
The council has refused to grant retrospective planning permission to allow her to use her seven-bedroom home as a business, offering regular classes and weekend retreats, because of concerns over highway safety.
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Last August B&NES wrote to her to request she found an alternative venue after her suggestions for parking were considered unsuitable.
A decision has been put off for a month to give councillors the chance to visit the centre to see for themselves the road and the entrance to the building.
Ms Martinus, who employs eight yoga teachers, a gardener and a cleaner, could face immediate closure if the authority decides to carry out enforcement action.
She said: "We are not asking for special treatment, just equality and fairness and a fighting chance to allow local business to thrive and to allow local people to reconnect, heal and come out of isolation.
"It is the nature and definition of rural roads, that there is no parking, bends, hedge rows and no pathways. Does this mean that village life has no place for local business?"
Ms Martinus, who has been backed by a 100-signature petition, has offered some of her land to create a footpath but said the council refused to work with her.
A spokesman for B&NES said: "The main issue is concern for road safety where people attending classes have to walk along a main road with insufficient pavement and will find it difficult to see oncoming traffic when crossing the road. There is the serious potential for a life-threatening accident, especially given the extra traffic generated by the business."
Parish council chairman Chris Taylor said it shared concerns about highway safety.