Press Release: Civic Voice welcomes proposals that betting shops are to require planning permisison

Welcoming the announcement that the Department of Communities and Local Government will consult on giving communities the chance to decide for themselves via the planning system whether betting shops are needed (published 30 April) Freddie Gick, Chair of Civic Voice said:

“The proposal to put power back in the hands of local people is a welcome development for those communities that want more local control over their high streets. Currently, bookmakers can open up in the same premises as a bank, estate agent, pub, takeaway or restaurant without the need for any planning permission. Changing the planning category would force any new betting shop to require planning permission first, giving councils and residents the statutory support they need for greater local control on this issue.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government announced today (30th April) that they will consult on the detail of these proposals as part of a wider consultation on change of use in summer 2014.
Gick said “We are not opposed to development and the evolving of our high streets, but within the often very broad use classes categorising the different uses of buildings and land, some surprising changes of use can have major impacts on communities – for example, changes from a pub to a pawnbroker or a bank to a betting shop can currently occur with no voice for the local community. We believe this change can ensure local communities can have a say on whether betting shops are right for them.

Gick finished “. It is important that the views of local communities are taken into account when a new betting shop is being considered as the high street is such an important issue. We are glad the Government have heard Civic Voice’s concerns.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS
Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We work to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive and to promote civic pride. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England. We believe everyone should live somewhere they can be proud of and we know how people feel about places because we feel the same way. Civic societies are the most numerous participants in the planning system. Since its launch in April 2010 Civic Voice has been joined by over 290 civic societies with 75,000 members. Further information is available at http://www.civicvoice.org.uk including how to join Civic Voice (£10 individuals) and contact details for local civic societies.

CONTACTS

Ian Harvey, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 07877096968