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Bookmaker lodges appeal in bid to open second store in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 March 2014

The YMCA charity shop on the Market Place in Great Yarmouth.
William Hill wants to turn it into a betting shop.

Picture: James Bass

The YMCA charity shop on the Market Place in Great Yarmouth. William Hill wants to turn it into a betting shop. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Bookmaker William Hill is pushing ahead with plans to open a second store in Great Yarmouth.

The betting firm lost its bid to open a shop in Market Place back in January when Great Yarmouth Borough Council refused planning permission for change of use.

At the time, neighbouring shops had voiced concern that “yet another” betting shop could harm the town centre.

This week, a spokesman for the bookies confirmed it was appealing the decision.

He said research had shown there was a demand for another store and the company would not open one “without reason”.

“We undertake a lot of market research before opening new premises and if there’s a reason to open then we will,” he said, refuting claims the town had too many bookmakers.

There is currently a Ladbrokes at 4 Market Place and a BetFred shop at 15 Market Place. If William Hill gets a green light to open at 19 Market Place, there would be three bookmakers within 200 years of each other.

That is on top of betting shops in Regent Road and King Street.

Martin McCormack, practice director of Specsavers next door to the store currently leased by YMCA as a charity shop, objected to the scheme when it was lodged last year - and is lodging another objection against the appeal.

He said: “I fail to comprehend how anyone can think this bookmakers is needed.

“I appreciate competition is healthy and good for business as it keeps you on your toes but there is such a thing as overkill. I hope the council stands by its original decision.”

William Hill said a new shop could create six new jobs for the area, three of which would be full time.

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