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Topic: Spreading to our high street - a nasty rash?

Spreading to our high street - a nasty rash?
20 Feb 2021 11:51 #5893

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Message from Cllr Barry

Dear Shirley,

I have discussed with my colleague. He makes the following points and is happy to discuss with you over the phone:
  • The application would have been sent to councillors and to the police.
  • The application is for a gaming licence which is the same whether it’s bingo or slot machines.
  • The police, the Licensing Authority, and the councillors did not raise any objections.
  • The bases for objections to such an application would be Crime and Disorder (and possibly harm to Children). Those objections would need to be based on evidence and with a new application there can be none. It would therefore have bn hard to refuse the application.
  • If there was something glaringly wrong in the application the police would have objected.
  • He thinks that a close reading of the licence will show that they do not intend to operate 24/7 (even if they are licenced for those hours) and that suitable measures will be given to prevent crime.
  • A Judicial review is unlikely to be successful. The small advertisements and the timing are unlikely to be considered sufficient reason for overturning the decision. This is an experienced company so they are likely to have followed a process they have used before. There is no legal requirement for the size of the press advert. The one in the window must be A4 or larger.
  • It was a betting shop before so Planning would have gone through easily because no change of use is involved.

Next steps:
  • Look closely at the licence to check that there are measures given to prevent crime and disorder.
  • Gather evidence of any problems caused and/or any failure of the measures promised, once it opens – allow at least six months before asking for a licence review. Be sure you have good evidence, a failed review will make a second review more difficult.
  • The police will also be monitoring so should be ahead of you!
  • PG residents could complain to the PG councillors that they should have drawn their attention to the application (they may have done so but only informed residents who gave GDPR permissions).
There may have been no chance of a successful objection to the application but the Leader of the Council promised a revival of PG High Street and this is not what you expected.

I know that Cllr. Oykener has been dealing with personal problems because of serious health issues in his family. I do not know about issues Cllrs. Maguire or Leaver may be dealing with. Both Cllrs Maguire and Leaver hold Special Responsibility Allowances in the current administration. Details are on the council web site.

I hope that is helpful. Please let me know if you want to speak with my colleague,

Dinah

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