Opening “yet another” betting shop in Great Yarmouth will do more harm than good, it has been claimed.

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The YMCA shop at 19 Market Place will be forced to move out if William Hill gets a green light to open a second shop in town.

And with Ladbrokes at 4 Market Place and BetFred at 15 Market Place, it would also mean three bookmakers within 200 yards of each other.

Voicing concern over the plans, neighbouring businesses said three bookies in such close quarters could put other businesses off and cause damage Yarmouth’s reputation.

Martin McCormack, practice director of Specsavers, located next door, has objected to the scheme.

In his letter to Great Yarmouth Borough Council he said: “I find it incomprehensible if not ironic that with all the vacant premises in Great Yarmouth town centre, this application will mean the closure of the much needed YMCA charity shop.

“This is a charity which specialises in helping to get people back on their feet.”

Mr McCormack also said that allowing “yet another” betting shop to open in the town centre would not improve Yarmouth’s reputation as a place where poverty is rife.

“I don’t think it’s right for the high street when we’re trying to bring people into the area,” he said. “If there are only pubs and betting shops, big brands will not want to move here. We will never get anyone to move in to the old Co-op building if it carries on.”

Ben Melhado, owner of Junx clothing store in Market Place, suggested there was a wider problem at play.

“The fact the business rates are so high means it’s only these types of businesses that can come into town,” he said.

“There’s no incentive for local traders.”

If approved, William Hill will have two shops in town. The existing store at 3 Regent Road is only a few minutes walk from Market Place.

The YMCA declined to comment on the William Hill plans, but it is believed the charity shop would relocate rather than shut up shop.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for William Hill said research showed there was a demand for the bookmakers’ expansion.

“We can confirm that we have applied for change of use from A1 [retail] to A2 [financial or professional],” he said. “We will be making a betting shop licence application if, and when, planning permission is granted.

“Opening a new premise is not a decision we take lightly, with the average shop refit coming in at £175,000.

“We have undertaken a significant amount of market research and competitor analysis and believe there is room for a second William Hill shop in the Great Yarmouth borough.

“A shop this size will create an average of six new jobs in the area, of which at least three will be full time.”

Comments for the change of use plan must be with Great Yarmouth Borough Council by Monday, December 23.

12 comments

  • We still live in a capitalist world despite the council planners. Market forces of supply and demand should and will determine the outcome of three bookmakers in close proximity. Would there be such an outcry if it were three chips stalls in close proximity? Maybe those chip stall should be scattered?

    Report this comment

    Paul Morley

    Friday, December 20, 2013

  • Is Yarmouth really this desperate for a handful of jobs? I guess it doesn't matter really because Yarmouth's shopping centre has been awful for years. Must be something to do with the quango and town centre "manager" that runs it!

    Report this comment

    DWW25

    Friday, December 20, 2013

  • What do you mean Spooky ".....eventually there won't be anything around worth stopping in the town for..." There isnt anyway !. What has Yarmouths marvellous, useless, overpaid Town Centre Manager got to say ?. Come on EDP. Kick the reporter out of her office and get her to get his response (assuming he wants to talk). As for the radio advert for Market gates "the gateway to great shopping", and "you can get everything you need under one roof", they should be taken to court by the ASA for misrepresentation.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, December 20, 2013

  • I have been to a few towns up North and in the Midlands where poverty is rife and there are so many betting shops and yes youve guessed it, Pay Day Loan shops these two go hand in hand. Just where do the problem gamblers get the money from after they have exhausted their owns funds? Crime. GYBC council members, I do hope that your houses are not burgled by the the kind of people that could frequent these misery making businesses.

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • Is Yarmouth really this desperate for a handful of jobs? I guess it doesn't matter really because Yarmouth's shopping centre has been awful for years. Must be something to do with the quango and town centre "manager" that runs it!

    Report this comment

    DWW25

    Friday, December 20, 2013

  • Perhaps the bookies have a better insight into the future of the town and will be offering odds on the next shop to be closing if this application and development is allowed to progress.

    Report this comment

    malmocanary

    Friday, December 20, 2013

  • Well clearly there are not the jobs out there, so the Government and Local Authorities allow masses of Gambling establishments, knowing the vulnerable will try all they can to win themselves out of debt instead.

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • What a ridiculous idea, come on, this isn't going to help Yarmouth get back on it's feet, eventually there won't be anything around worth stopping in the town for. Taking Mr McCormack's comments That allowing “yet another” betting shop to open in the town centre would not improve Yarmouth’s reputation as a place where poverty is rife. “I don’t think it’s right for the high street when we’re trying to bring people into the area,” he said. “If there are only pubs and betting shops, big brands will not want to move here. We will never get anyone to move in to the old Co-op building if it carries on.” I totally agree with him, add another betting shop and of course people who don't have the money will go into it to try and get more money, but will lose rather than win. No wonder poverty abounds in Yarmouth, the bookies are taking it all.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • Nice to see that the EDP censorship is still alive and well. If you are not going to publish criticism of Yarmouths town centre manager, or any criticism for that matter, then I suggest you abandon the comments section.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, December 20, 2013

  • Hooray let's all sell our souls for 3 full-time jobs. I think if anyone had 10 full-time jobs to offer we might just hand them over the keys to the town and let them build whatever they want.

    Report this comment

    Norfolkadam

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • Is Yarmouth really this desperate for a handful of jobs? I guess it doesn't matter really because Yarmouth's shopping centre has been awful for years. Must be something to do with the quango and town centre "manager" that runs it!

    Report this comment

    DWW25

    Friday, December 20, 2013

  • You all seem to be overlooking a big point. Wether or not a betting shop should go in is irrelevant. The question is who has the right to say wether or not a betting shop can be put in? It's all part of the big game we call capitalism. Supply and demand, if the supply of betting shops grows above the demand the market will correct itself, so don't get all worked up. You don't tell the market what it wants. The market tells you what it wants, and right now it wants betting shops, so who are we to stand in the way of capitalism?

    Report this comment

    Z:)

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

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