Last week the government missed a real opportunity to take a big step towards rescuing our high streets. By defeating a Labour party motion that would put betting shops in their own planning use class, they denied local authorities the power to limit the number of betting shops, and the number of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in any one area.
As of December 2013 there were just short of 9,000 betting shops in Britain, with 22 betting shops and 88 FOBTs in my constituency of Tooting alone, and the number is increasing all the time. Just before Christmas a planning application was submitted to open a new betting shop in an old H Samuels on Mitcham Road in Tooting town centre. Tooting residents are extremely unhappy with the prospect of another betting shop opening in the area and yet Wandsworth Council appear helpless.
Read the full article in The Guardian online.