Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Betfred - the final push?

It's fairly likely that you are now bored of reading about Betfred's attempt to open a new betting shop on the high street; to be honest, I am bored of writing about it. But I'm not going to stop.

Deptford High Street is seemingly irresistible to bookmakers; we already have seven betting shops on this street and three others within a few minutes' walk; Betfred must be gutted it's not getting a slice of the action and will do whatever it can to get the former Halifax premises opened as a bookmakers. Once the fixed-odds betting terminals are up and running, they'll be coining it in just like Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, William Hill (x2), Betterbet, Coral and McDonnells.

With its initial planning application for change of use turned down first by the council, and then on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate, Betfred proceeded to submit a second planning application which was again turned down by the council.

Naturally Betfred also appealed against this decision, and the Planning Inspectorate is now considering the case for a second time.

I am objecting to this application because I feel we already have more than enough betting shops; not only does it reduce the diversity of the businesses on the high street, but this clustering encourages anti-social behaviour, street drinking and fights in a small, concentrated area, putting people off using the street at night and making them fear for their personal safety.

If you objected to the original application, you will have been sent details of the appeal, which the inspectorate intends to deal with 'by an exchange of written statements'. Now is the time - and your last chance - to reinforce or add to your original objection, if appropriate.

Details of the written appeals procedure can be found here and more information about the process here.

If you have not already objected, you can still make a representation to the inspector by writing in triplicate to:

Ms Vicky Williams
The Planning Inspectorate
3/14 Eagle Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6PN

The deadline for objections is 17 February 2012 and you should quote reference APP/C5690/A/11/2168006/NWF.

You can also comment online here by scrolling down to the bottom and clicking on 'comment on this case' (with thanks to the Blackheath Bugle for making me aware of this).

Be aware that any comments you submit will be made available to all parties, including the appellant (Done Brothers/aka Betfred).

Please pass this on to as many people as you can and urge their support; it will make a huge difference if the inspector gets an indication of the strength of feeling of the local community and will only take a few minutes of your time.


Sky London said...

I really really hate the amount of betting shops, can't still believe we lost the deptford arms to one. This HAS to stop. Will be writing a letter ASAP. Thanks for the info, keep it coming.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness both you and sue are still writing about it! Someone needs to, after so many rejections most of us would have assumed that it was the end if the affair. Is it correct that this latest appeal will be heard in Bristol? If so will their be an opportunity for opposing representation on our side? Presumably lewisham will be sending their own representatives? I do not fully understand the final phase I must admit. Is it worth organising another petition? Is their a template concerning the objections you coul d publish again, a reminder of specific wording, as I know objections are only taken into account on certain someone who recently closed a business in Deptford, it absolutely chokes me to see these unworthy character s operate a money grabbing, mean spirited and greedy business in our wonderful community. Let's hope this is the final battle.

Deptford Dame said...

@anon there is guidance here about taking part in an appeal and how the process works.

If you have the time to organise a petition and get as many local people/shop owners/businesses as possible to sign, then please do, I'm sure it would be worth the effort.

Ideally objections should be on planning grounds (we focused before on the maintaining diversity and sustainability of the high street) but the inspector's report last time might also give you some guidance.

Based on the inspector's report, it seems that anecdotal and/or personal comments are as acceptable as those based on planning law. However the case is being reviewed by a different inspector this time who might view it differently.

Anonymous said...

Personal safety in Deptford? Not much to do with Bookmakers, more to do with the people that live there. Presumably, the only reason they want to be there is because there are customers... and loads of them if there are 7 already? Ah well, if it's not a bookies, it will be a pawn broker. Just what's required to sell stolen goods and obviously hugely more palatable than a bookies in yet another of the many vacant shops in the UK. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I understand on very good authority that the Halifax is going to be Cash Generators. As someone has said previosuly, arguably this is worse than a national betting shop as they have very few regulations. What a fantastic result for Deptford