Unpopular plan for third High Street betting shop approved despite strong opposition

More than 200 people objected - but councillors gave the proposal the go-ahead

Planning permission has been given for a third betting shop in Staple Hill despite hundreds of objections from residents. Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council’s Development Management Committee approved the proposal for a BoyleSport shop at a building formerly used by Lloyds bank on High Street last Thursday (January 19).

The approval was given after more than 220 objections were made, with many complaining that there were two other betting shops nearby and a third was not needed. Others said the proposed use of the unit could damage the vibrancy of the High Street.

However, in a decision noticed published, the council officers said the proposal had ‘been found to accord with adopted policies’. The council also did a survey of the High Street which found the new shop would mean under 4% of the occupied units on the road would be betting shops.

They added that a third betting shop in the High Street would not ‘represent a negative clustering of this type of premises’.

Among those against the planning application was local ward councillor Ian Boulton. In a short statement after the decision, he said: “While this is not the outcome we were working for we now send BoyleSport congratulations and best wishes for their new venture in our neighbourhood and hope they become a valuable and engaged member of our community.”

On Facebook, some users also reacted to the decision. One person said: “If Staple Hill doesn’t serve the community, that community will shop elsewhere and sadly what shops are here that people use will disappear.” Another said: “A mockery and a tragedy.”

Conditions attached to the planning application approval say that the development should start within three years and that it should be in accordance with submitted designs sent to the council.