More than 400 people signed a petition to save a busy Perth gym from demolition within 12 hours of it being launched.
Plans have been submitted to raze Fit4less on Canal Street to make way for 12 flats – six more than allowed under existing permission to convert the vacant upstairs units above the gym.
Staff say they are “devastated” and sent a petition to more than 1,200 members on Wednesday night.
The bid to block the private landlord from bulldozing the premises has also been backed by a string of objections from members on Perth and Kinross Council’s planning website.
John Swinney, SNP MSP, has condemned the demolition bid.
He said: “The proposal is concerning and will rightly come as a shock to the local community.
“This deeply damaging proposal would not only deprive the community of an excellent resource, but would lead to at least five job losses. This is an unacceptable trade-off for the benefits that half a dozen new properties would offer.
“I will therefore be strongly supporting Fit4less and its members in their campaign to keep the gym open.”
City centre councillor Peter Barrett believes the plans could have positives and negatives.
The Lib Dem said: “There are clearly concerns about job losses and the loss of facilities to people who need them, be it disability groups or the affordable service.
“Alternatively, the development could help towards the substantial need for housing in Perth city centre.
“There are potential environmental improvements the area through the courtyard at the front, which could offer a better setting for the listed church across the road.”