One of the world's largest fitness franchises is set to open a 24-hour gym in Braintree, bringing 13 jobs to the town.

US brand Snap Fitness, which has more than 2,000 outlets in 18 countries, wants to convert the former premises of Speedy Tool Hire, in Skitts Hill, Braintree.

The premises would undergo significant refurbishment and renovation in order to create the 520sqm, state of the art gymnasium, which is open all hours.

A 43 space car park would also be created in what was the business' storage yard.

The move would bring four full-time and nine part-time jobs to the town, and revitalise the dilapidated unit, which is about the size of a full tennis court.

A planning statement prepared by Pegasus Group said: "The proposed gym use would provide an additional service for residents and would bring back into active use a large commercial unit which is currently vacant and detracting from the appearance of the area.

"It would be open during the daytime and evenings and contribute to the economy."

The current access would be maintained for entering and exiting the site.

Although open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, Snap Fitness said relatively low amounts of people use the business' gyms at non-social hours and so nearby residents would notice minimal disruption.

The statement continues: "The proposal will not cause any harm to the amenity of any existing residential properties, would not have any unacceptable impact on highways and parking and would be in keeping with the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

"As such, there are no sound planning reasons why this application should not be permitted subject to the imposition of suitably worded planning conditions."

Search 18/01408/FUL on Braintree Council's planning portal.