A NEW yoga studio is to open in the Merchant City, despite objections from city council leader Gordon Matheson and dozens of residents.

City Fusion Yoga has been given permission to open a studio, which will operate from 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm at weekends.

Planners received 20 letters of objection from people worried about noise early in the morning and late at night.

They were concerned customers would stand outside the premises to smoke and that a cafe included in the plan could result in the venue being turned into a pub in the future.

The new yoga studio will be on the ground floor and basement of a former leather merchants' warehouse, built in 1876, which has been converted into flats.

A report to councillors said: "The premises has been marketed since September 2013.

"The applicant has submitted a report summarising interest in the premises, which includes inquiries in relation to cafe, bar, restaurant, bookmakers, retail, hairdressers, office, dental and medical use.

"But despite good levels of inquiries, the marketing agents were unable to progress these interests beyond initial inquiries.

"The applicant is willing to accept conditions limiting delivery times, hours of operation, noise generation as well as undertaking a noise impact assessment and implementing noise mitigation measures as appropriate.

"It should be noted that, although there is a small studio at ground level, the main studio space is positioned at basement level."

The report says the property has been vacant for some time, with its most recent use being a bridal boutique and formal hire shop.

It adds: "Given the ground floor commercial uses have previously been occupied by passive uses, it is understandable neighbouring residents have some concerns over the proposed use.

"However, the site is within the Merchant City where active as well as late night uses are well established."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk