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Bookie’s shop loses out
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
CAMPAIGNERS have won a battle to stop another betting shop opening up in a high street.
Betfred had hoped to overturn a Lewisham council ruling in December last year so it could move into an empty unit in Deptford High Street.
It launched an appeal but an independent planning inspector upheld the council’s decision in a ruling on Wednesday of last week.
There are already seven bookies’ shops in the high street and a total of 10 in the town.
Yvonne Order, chairwoman of Deptford High Street Association, said: “We are thrilled to bits.
“We’ve been campaigning for so long to stop these betting shops coming into the high street. It’s fantastic.”
However, she said campaigners would continue in their bid to have the Government’s Gambling Act overhauled.
They want the law to give more power to local authorities to reject applications for betting shops.
She said: “We will take a stand on any future applications.
“We do not want any more of these places. They are a blight on the community, causing antisocial behaviour, and we are fed up of them.”
Dame Joan Ruddock, Labour MP for Lewisham Deptford, presented a bill to the House of Commons in July last year to give councils more powers to reject planning applications.
She said: “It is fantastic news and an excellent example of the Big Society and the local will of the people being recognised.
“However, the law still needs to be changed. These shops are squeezing out diversity and attracting antisocial behaviour.”
In his report, planning inspector Graham Garnham said the shop would “give rise to antisocial behaviour and disturbance to local residents and other users of Deptford”.
He said: “The fear of crime would be enhanced by an additional betting office in close proximity to the others, and there is a risk of an increase in actual crime”.
A spokesman for Betfred said: “We are disappointed because we felt we could offer a first-class betting service on Deptford High Street.”
All content © of South London Press unless stated otherwise.
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