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Powers to curb betting shops in high streets welcomed
The power to curb the number of betting shops in Enfield’s high streets by Enfield Borough Council has been increased by the government.
The council will now be able to refuse planning applications for betting shops if they feel there are too many.
Currently, planning applications are not always needed for new betting shops to open and can fill a premises left empty by a business that falls into a similar category such as banks, estate agents and building societies.
Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes has championed the idea of increasing council powers to curb the number of betting shops in Palmers Green high street, which has more than ten.
In February 2014, he spoke in Parliament about his concern of the number of betting shops in Green Lanes and urged for “additional local planning or licensing powers, such as a cumulative impact test”.
After hearing the news that councils will receive more power, he said: "In Parliament ministers assured me that action would be taken to deal with the proliferation of betting shops and the concerns about gaming machines.
“I am pleased that the Government looks set to give local people a greater voice in controlling the number of betting shops. In areas like Green Lanes, which have become saturated with betting shops, this will be very welcome news."
Costas Georgiou, head of the Green Lanes Business Association, said: “This is excellent news and I hope to see the council do something about this in Palmers Green because there are so many.
“It is not just about curbing the number but changing their window fronts. In the past it used to be all one colour and just a picture of a horse and a dog but now its all electronic gaming which is very, very dangerous.
“These games cost people a lot of money and that can lead to crime.”
An Enfield Council spokesperson said: "The council has been campaigning for additional powers to manage the number of betting shops in high streets.
"We will consider the relevant issue carefully and decide how those powers may be used most appropriately and effectively for the benefit of as many people as possible.”
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