'Seven betting shops is pushing it too far. There has to be a line drawn.' (From This Is Local London)
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Seventh betting shop in Hendon Central would be step too far say objectors
Fierce objections have been made criticising plans to open a seventh betting shop in Hendon Central.
Roar Betting Ltd wants to open a branch in Central Circus just a short stroll from betting chains such as Paddy Power, Coral, Ladbrokes and Bet Fred and same-day loan businesses.
Residents have sent five letters to Barnet Borough Council objecting to the proposals complaining that the businesses, combined with outlets selling cheap alcohol, attract anti-social behaviour.
They plan to attend the authority’s licensing sub-committee meeting at Hendon Town Hall on Thursday to demonstrate their opposition.
Among them will be Gerard Roots, who has lived in Hendon for 34 years.
Speaking to the Times Series he explained: “I’m not opposed to betting but it’s absolutely dreadful that in such a small area of Hendon there is virtually nothing but betting shops. It’s not really a town centre at all.
“Seven betting shops is pushing it too far. There has to be a line drawn at some point.”
Mr Roots is also concerned about the affects it will have on the area.
He said: “Betting shops create a sort of atmosphere which is not conducive to any other sort of business.
“I think it will also increase anti-social behaviour. For a lot of people this will just be somewhere they want to walk through and get out of as quickly as possible. This is not a proper use of our town centre.”
Earlier this month the council approved later opening times for two Ladbrokes branches in the area, despite protests it would increase anti-social behaviour.
But founder of Roar Betting, Dominic Ford, has defended the application, saying it will bring investment and new jobs to the area.
Roar Betting, a family-run business, had its founding shop in Hendon Central but says it was forced to sell it in 2010 as a direct result of the credit crunch.
Mr Ford said: “It has always been our intention to return to Hendon Central. Whenever I have returned I always get chatted up by my former customers asking when we will return and give them a local choice rather than the sterile offering of the large PLCs.
“We are taking on a site that has been empty since Massgrove Lighting closed their doors at the same time as us in 2010. No other business has been prepared to make a sustained commitment to the site over the past three years.
“We are pleased to be able to bring new investment into a derelict shop. We will be providing jobs for five local people, this will help to drive more footfall and bring the number of vacant units down in the area.
“This can only be positive in terms of helping regenerate the Hendon Central area.”
Roar Betting has operated in the borough for six years and currently has branches in Colindale and Burnt Oak.
Councillors will make their decision on Thursday at 10.30am.
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