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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham MP objects to adults gaming centre planning application

Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk has formally objected to plans for a 24hr Adult Gaming Centre on Cheltenham High Street. The application made by Admiral Slots to change the use of premises for betting/gambling/gaming use, located at 218 High Street, is on the former ShoeZone site.

Alex Chalk said in his written objection on the Cheltenham Borough Council Planning Portal: "I am writing in opposition to the application for a 24hr Adult Gaming Centre at 218 High Street.

If approved the application would have a considerable negative impact on adjacent businesses and significantly limit the potential for regeneration of the Lower High Street. It would undermine the efforts of the Brewery Quarter, Minster Quarter and the town centre more widely to provide a high-quality retail and cultural offer as set out in the Cheltenham Plan. It will also impact the redevelopment of empty commercial properties in the area into high-quality residential use.

As is clear from the public comments, approval of yet another gambling/gaming venue in such a highly visible location is likely to discourage more Cheltenham residents from visiting the town centre as well as giving a negative impression to visitors. It risks damaging the image of Cheltenham as an attractive tourist and cultural destination.

Further, as many correspondents and the councillor for Pittville ward have identified, the proposed use of the premises as a 24hr Adult Gaming Centre raises significant concerns about the impact from noise and perceived anti-social behaviour on the local community.

I would also invite the Committee to consider the Implications for public health and the damage that an easily accessible and highly visible 24hr gambling venue would have on the vulnerable and those susceptible to gambling addiction."

Last month, Punchline reported that the application had met fierce opposition from many local businesses, including the Brewery Quarter, and residents who expressed rising concerns over plans for this 24/7 adult gaming centre fearing escalation of anti-social behaviour and "downgrading" of the area be "extremely harmful".

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