Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Bangor - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Martin opposes betting shop in Kilcooley

Monday 9th January 2012

One of the most ridiculous planning developments in Bangor has been proposed in the middle of social housing in Kilcooley and I would urge everyone who has an interest in this to oppose it.

One of the most ridiculous planning developments in Bangor has been proposed in the middle of social housing in Kilcooley and I would urge everyone who has an interest in this to oppose it. Before Christmas a Planning Application came before Council for a ‘betting shop’ in the middle of Kilcooley estate – we were successful in getting this referred to an Office Meeting which is happening in the Craig Room of the town hall on Tuesday 17th January. It is patently obvious that this is the last type of establishment that an area of social housing requires and it must be opposed at every step. Not only will this see the loss of current shop premises but it will also encourage gambling and we are all only too aware that there are not many poor bookmakers in Northern Ireland. This change of use and application will be difficult to oppose because of the restrictions placed on Councils regarding planning but other avenues are available to us. For further details on the development concerned residents can contact either myself or Ms Andrea Todd at the Planning Office. 

Courts are responsible for granting bookmakers’ licences which authorise the holder to carry on a business or act as a bookmaker. Currently, licensing procedures include a requirement for licensing authorities to make an assessment of the suitability of prospective gambling operators to be granted a licence. In practice the general system relies heavily on the consideration of objections from organisations such as the PSNI, as opposed to active investigation by the licensing authorities. If we are unsuccessful in overturning the current planning approval then we must pursue other routes open to us. This is a simply insane proposal and in the current economic climate hard pressed families must not be allowed to be tempted by a betting shop just down the road

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