From Sue, on Betfred’s reapplication to open another betting shop on Deptford High Street.
You’ll probably know that when Lewisham Planning turned them down in June, they appealed to the government Planning Inspectorate, who also turned them down (in August). Originally they were asking for the condition on the premises (that it was A2 Financial Use for a Building Society only) to be lifted to include Betting Shops. The Inspector agreed to lift the condition and then applied a new one – so that the present permission for the premises is now ANY A2 FINANCIAL USE EXCEPT AS A BETTING SHOP.
They have since reapplied to Lewisham to have this altered to include Betting Shops, claiming that it is unfair to judge them based on the behaviour of the clientele outside other betting establishments.
This application can be found on the Lewisham Planning Portal here and their covering letter is in the Documents section here.
The deadline for sending in objections is today, but the target date for a decision is not until 6th December, so objections can still be sent up until then. We have not organised a new petition (but may still do), so hope that if you have the time you will take the trouble to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wrote an objection back in March, you need only to refer to that objection (perhaps quote from it or summarise some of it). If you wrote a comment on the petition, you could use the wording from that. It doesn’t have to be an essay!
I’m attaching my objection to this present application (which has some information about the cross-party campaign that the Mayor of London and Joan Ruddock MP are signed up to), along with my objection from March (which has information about Problem Gambling and its effects) in case you need some text or facts to work with.
We beat Betfred the last time because not only was there a strange covenant attached to the premises, but also because 84 people wrote objections which mostly referred to the antisocial aspect of the clustering of betting shops in the high street, quoting their own experiences. The Government Inspector took these reports very seriously when coming to his decision (see his Appeal Decision in full here).
At the time of writing there are only six objections registered on the Lewisham Planning Portal. Please help to increase that number to as many as last time and write your own objection asap!
PS If there’s time, we may set up a website, a proper newsletter that you can subscribe/unsubscribe to if you so wish, and another petition (but a petition only counts as one objection)…but in the meantime, thanks for reading this…!