Published: February 14, 2011
Controversial Highbridge amusement arcade plans win approval

Controversial plans to turn a tattoo shop into a new gambling arcade in Highbridge town centre have been approved by Sedgemoor District Council this week - but its opening hours will be restricted.

As first reported by in January, local businessman Mike Childs wants to convert Highbridge Ink in Market Street into a fruit machine and gaming arcade.

The application for a change of business use for the premises at 2 Market Street has this week been granted, subject to several conditions.

These include the opening hours being limited to 9am to 6pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

Steve Atkinson from Sedgemoor District Council says the restricted opening hours have been put in place "to safeguard local residents from noise and disturbance during unsocial hours."

Tina Gray, Vice Chairman of Highbridge Residents Association, told "I fully understand that by law Sedgemoor could not refuse this application, so we welcome the restricted opening hours which are the next best thing to rejecting the plans."

"Sedgemoor have actually done a good job in carefully assessing the situation and looking at the residents feelings and acting fairly for all."

Cllr Joe Leach told "I am pleased that the District Council have restricted the arcade, although of course disappointed it was permitted. I am fully aware that there were no real reasons to reject this application, but it does not stop the feeling of concern held by many that this could be another poor addition for Highbridge, so I think we will be watching carefully for the licensing application when it arrives to ensure that disturbance is kept to a minimum and that our children are kept safe."


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