Bet shop plan in finishing straight
PUBLISHED: 12:55 12 October 2007 | UPDATED: 23:06 28 May 2010
A BETTING shop is odds-on to win permission to open in High Street, March. Its application to move to a former shop at No.13 Street is being recommended for approval by Fenland District Council s planners despite opposition from the Town Council. Joe Jenn
A BETTING shop is odds-on to win permission to open in High Street, March.
Its application to move to a former shop at No.13 Street is being recommended for approval by Fenland District Council's planners despite opposition from the Town Council.
Joe Jennings Ltd has been helped in its bid by a recent appeal decision which allowed 39 Broad Street, March, to become an estate agency.
"The inspector concluded that the loss of this single retail unit would not impair the town centre's ability to meet people's day to day shopping needs," says Hamish Laird, planning officer.
That conclusion forms part of his report to next Wednesday's Fenland Council planning committee which is recommending the change of use be allowed.
He said March has two betting shops compared with Wisbech which has four and the new business, combined with an estate agent and a pub, make up less than 15 per cent of the non-retail uses to the shopping frontage in that part of the High Street.
He said increased competition for customers of betting shops "is not a planning consideration" and the application is considered acceptable.
"It would not be harmful to the vitality of the town centre and is unlikely to set a precedent for similar such development in this part of the High Street," said Mr Laird.
"Any re-design of the shop front and erection of signs can be controlled to ensure that its appearance preserves and enhances the character of the conservation area."
A spokesman for Joe Jennings said a licensed betting office would enhance the viability and vitality of the area since they generate higher than averages levels of customers with many going on to use other shops locally.