The owner of a new gym in Marlow has praised the “fantastic” community for its support after he was forced to push back the gym’s opening when travellers set up camp “just metres” from its front door.

A number of caravans and other vehicles were seen on the site of Leo Gym, in Fieldhouse Lane, which is also opposite upmarket health club The Marlow Club, last Tuesday (April 3), and were moved on by the council on Tuesday this week.

Owner Bill Kelly told the Marlow Free Press its grand opening had to be postponed and booked classes pushed back because he said members felt “intimidated” walking through the caravans to reach the centre and workmen, who were due to put finishing touches to the gym before the opening, were unable to access the site.

This week, he praised Marlovians for its support throughout the “ordeal”.

He said: “We’ve had so many messages and calls and a large number of people offering to help with the clean-up.

“It has turned what was a really negative situation into a positive one and has made us even more excited to get involved in such a brilliant community.”

The gym, which was set to open next week, will now open on April 30.

Wycome District Council, which owns the land, said the travellers left “very little rubbish” behind on the site.

Spokesman Shauna Hichens said: “When the travellers left, skips were placed temporarily to block the entrance, and these have now been replaced with concrete blocks along the boundary.

“Travelodge, development partners for the site, have arranged for the site to be hoarded to replace the current Heras fencing line.

“The Marlow Club will also improve the fencing they have around the car park site.

“We have removed the gas canisters left behind and advised Leo Gym on a security firm that also deals with clean-up.”