Betting Shops Under Attack?
A new commerical premises had a condition slapped on it by Planning 'A' this evening preventing its use as a betting shop. During the discussion it became apparent that the intended use class was 'A2' but there was no mention of 'betting shops' in the list of possible A2 uses read out by the applicant. Quick-witted I raised the question of betting shops and the applicant's representative sensing that these were something of an issue in Lewisham rapidly stated there was no intention of opening one on this site. The Committee then proposed a condition on the application that use as a betting shop should not be permitted. The solicitor agreed that would be 'OK' and the planning officer was happy too. Thus it was that 232 Hither Green Lane has quite by accident stepped into Lewisham's planning history as possibly the first such condition.
Following the Homeview application for 'Change of Use to A2' the opinion of officers was that there would have been no grounds for such a condition anyway, even if it had been known that there was a possibility for that a betting shop was planned for the site. However this decision is not the one that'll test either of these points of planning law.
However, as an exercise in allowing the community to speak out against the creep of betting shops which are rapidly becoming a symbol of the decay of our local shopping parades as potent as the chicken-shop, it was to my mind a good call.
Finally, it'll be interesting how the big book-making firms react if at all.