We’ve reached “saturation point” over number of betting shops in Bournemouth, says councillor (From Bournemouth Echo)
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We’ve reached “saturation point” over number of betting shops in Bournemouth, says councillor
BOURNEMOUTH has reached “saturation point” over the number of betting shops in the town centre, a councillor has claimed.
Conservative Cllr Bob Chapman said councillors needed to be given more say over where betting shops could open and how many there should be.
On Tuesday’s full council meeting, Bournemouth councillors will be urged to back a campaign calling on the government to create a specific planning category for betting shops.
Currently, betting shops are in the same use category as building societies, estate agents and other office-based businesses, so these premises can be converted into betting shops without any need to apply for planning permission.
Cllr David Smith, backed by Cllr Chapman, will propose that councillors note the concerns expressed about the increasing number of betting shops and the proliferation of betting shops in high streets and poorer areas.
They will also ask councillors to support a campaign led by Hackney Borough Council to create a specific use class for betting shops.
Cllr Smith said: “I don’t think there’s a particular problem in Bournemouth at the moment but judging by the experience of other authorities, especially those in London, this could become a massive problem and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.”
And Cllr Chapman said: “It’s quite ridiculous having the same class order for a betting shop as we have for a bank.
“It’s because of that that we ended up having a betting shop right in the heart of the Square.
“Having eight betting shops between the Triangle and the Lansdowne is quite enough, it’s reached saturation point. The government is supposed to be encouraging localism, well give us a bit more power to control things like this.”
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