William Hill wins appeal to open second betting shop in Great Yarmouth

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

Friday, July 11, 2014
8:00 AM

A bookmakers has won its appeal to open another store in Great Yarmouth despite concerns the town is already saturated with betting shops.

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While Great Yarmouth Borough Council turned down William Hill’s planning application on the grounds it could have a negative effect on the vitality and viability of the shopping centre, the Bristol-based Planning Inspectorate has now ruled that a ninth betting shop in the town centre would not harm the area.

William Hill now has permission for a change of use at 19 Market Place, currently a YMCA charity shop.

If the shop is granted a licence, there will be three bookmakers in a space of 200 yards - with Ladbrokes already trading at 4 Market Place and Betfred at 14 Market Place. There are a further five betting shops in nearby Regent Road and King Street.

Martin McCormack, practice director of Specsavers in the Market Place, said: “We fear another betting office in Great Yarmouth is a serious threat to the integrity of the area which already has a number of betting shops.

“A number of units along Market Place are empty and there is not enough trade or customers to support the businesses which are still in the town.

“We need more things for our young people and shoppers to do and a betting shop is not a good example, especially as we could now have nine which are all within a ten minute walk of each other.”

His sentiments were echoed by the borough council.

A spokesman for the authority, which turned down William Hill’s change of use application back in January, said: “The borough council considered that the change of use of the premises to a betting shop would harm the vitality of the primary retail area and subsequently would be contrary to planning policy.

“In addition it was stated in our reasons for refusal that the town centre had a sufficient number of betting shops on the whole and within the immediate locality.

“The borough council is of the opinion that having a number of betting shops within such close proximity, in an area that has a notable lack of footfall and pedestrian activity, might in fact have a negative effect upon the vitality and viability of the shopping frontage along this length of the historic Market Place and therefore likely to be counter intuitive to encouraging choice and competition within the town centre as a whole.”

In his report, planning inspector Nick Moys noted the number of betting shops in the town but added that “in my experience and as the appellant’s

submissions suggest, betting shops can attract high levels of custom and a similar if not greater footfall to A1 retail uses”.

“I accept that the proposal would not add to the diversity of uses in the town centre given that there are already a number of betting shops in the vicinity, including one operated by the appellant. Nevertheless, betting shops are part of the normal range of services found within town centres, and the provision of an additional A2 use would have only a small effect on the overall balance.”

A spokesman for William Hill, which runs a shop in King Street, said the second shop would create five new jobs.

12 comments

  • Then I guess the Samaritans will be opening up a major hub in Great Yarmouth due to the amount of betting shops with their FOBT's that lure the poor and gullible to spend their low wages benefits Wonga,Payday loans thieving and drug dealing money. Well done GYBC for opposing this but what about all the others? What is that old saying about a stable door and a horse?

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    wes1975

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • One: "free market forces" will determine if this is viable. One could argue GY needs just one chip stall. Two: Pity the same rulings were not applied when Bet Fred and others were applying. Three: Thank goodness its not a nother charity shop!

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    Paul Morley

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • What's the odds on another Wonga type, legal loan shark shop opening up right next door to it?

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    wes1975

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • So, somebody on the opposite side of the country has decided what's best for this town claiming there will be an increase in footfall. Probably true but it will be marching to find Gambling Anonymous and Debt Counselling. Well done to the council for opposing in the first place.

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    Yarco

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • And Yarmouths "value for money" (ha ha ha) Town Centre Managers opinion of this, is ?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Yes Bonnie, unfortunately they do – which is why all benefits should be 'paid' in vouchers redeemable only for food & heatlight, with all rental payments being paid directly to the landlord.

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    Voice of Reason

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Don't white british people ecieve benefits and use betting shops anymore then? Wow - Great Yarmouth must be really unique

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    Bonnie Plummer

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • You have to give the immigrants somewhere to spend their benefits and a betting shop is as good as anywhere.

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    Norfolk John

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Sums up the state of the country when a town with one of the largest number of benefits claimants needs another book maker to open up shop. Why not open up a tattoo parlour next door and save on the walking distance.

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    DaveG

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • This is another nail in the coffin of retail shopping in GY .. The old CO OP appear lost from retail .. That is 20% of the marketplace retail lost a a stroke... Who now would shop on GY outside of GY .. The place a sad reflection of what was .. Shows how the wrong people in charge can destroy a marketplace... .. If You want quality stay away from Great Yarmouth so it seems

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    Lionel

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Don't think it matters any more, the Town has gone to the dogs anyway.

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    Lynda

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Don't think it matters any more, the Town has gone to the dogs anyway.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Lynda

    Friday, July 11, 2014

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