August 4, 2011
gambling arcade seeks longer opening hours
owner of a soon-to-open gambling arcade in Highbridge town centre
has launched a formal appeal against a council ruling that restricts
his opening hours.
As first reported
by Burnham-On-Sea.com in June, businessman
Mike Childs has won approval to convert the former Highbridge
Ink tattoo shop in Market Street into a fruit machine and gaming
arcade called Casino Slots.
However, while the application for a
change of business use was granted by Sedgemoor District
Council, the authority placed several conditions on the owner,
one of which limited his opening hours to 9am-6pm on Mondays to
Saturdays and 10am-4pm on Sundays.
The council said the opening hours had been put in place "to
safeguard local residents from noise and disturbance during unsocial
Mr Childs has submitted a formal appeal to the Planning Inspectorate
to request that the opening hours can be extended later into the
Burnham and Highbridge Town Council's Planning Applications Committee
considered the appeal at its meeting on Wednesday evening (August
3rd) when it backed Sedgemoor District Council's restricted opening
Cllr Helen Groves told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "There are already
anti-social behaviour issues in Market Street, so it would be
be unwise to extend the evening opening hours at the moment until
we see whether residents living near the arcade are affected."
Cllr Martin Cox added: "If the owner is responsible and
does not attract many complaints then I would support reconsidering
the opening hours in future."
Deputy Town Clerk Denise Emery said: "Members are keen to
support new businesses starting in Highbridge, but they voted
unanimously in favour of keeping the restricted hours. They said
they would be willing to reconsider the hours if the applicant
oversees the premises responsibly and there are no problems."
Pictured: Top, some of the residents who opposed the opening
of the gambling arcade outide the shop in Market Street