Proposal for betting shop in Amen Corner, Tooting sparks outrage

Proposal for betting shop in Amen Corner, Tooting sparks outrage

Proposal for betting shop in Amen Corner, Tooting sparks outrage

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

Plans to turn a former bank into a betting shop has sparked outrage from neighbours.

A planning application was submitted to Wandsworth Council last month by William Hill to turn the old Barclay's bank building in Amen Corner, Tooting, into a book makers.

The document lists plans to build facia, protection signs and alterations to the shop front as necessary for the development.

A licence application has also been submitted, which will be considered at a future council meeting. 

The proposals have upset neighbours, who fear the betting shop will draw street drinkers to the area.

Dorina Markoff-McNulty, who lives nearby, said: "That part of Tooting is proud with some of the best performing schools in Wandsworth. Many families move to these ends for that reason.

"These children not only need good education but also a good social example to follow out of school.

"There is no doubt that a betting shop right in the middle of Amen Corner, at the crossing lights, in the largest part of the sidewalk with the tree in the middle of it with its possible siting area around, must be the most inappropriate choice of a commercial business."

A spokesperson for William Hill said: "We undertake local market research when investigating sites for new shop openings, to ensure there is demand within the local area.

"We believe that there will be reasonable business to justify our investment. We will be creating five jobs in the local area driving revenue, and foot traffic to the local economy and providing a facility that we believe will be a success within the community."

Tooting is home to a William Hill as well as a Ladbrokes in Mitcham Road.

Comments (1)

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6:12pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Josh Mellor says...

Before the Gambling Act came into force in 2007, if you wanted to open a new betting shop you had a hearing in front of a magistrate. One of the criteria for refusing a licence was that there were already enough shops in the area. If someone ever wanted to open an independent shop, William Hill would get a few of the regulars from their shop to turn up to the hearing to object, to testify that there were already "enough" bookies in the area.

Funny isn't it, that these days no number of shops is enough to satisfy William Hill's greed, until every vulnerable person in the country is spending their benefits there?

It might add 5 local jobs, but only if the shop's takings are 50 people's incomes. It's not a tough equation to work out if it's a good thing or a bad thing for the area.
Before the Gambling Act came into force in 2007, if you wanted to open a new betting shop you had a hearing in front of a magistrate. One of the criteria for refusing a licence was that there were already enough shops in the area. If someone ever wanted to open an independent shop, William Hill would get a few of the regulars from their shop to turn up to the hearing to object, to testify that there were already "enough" bookies in the area. Funny isn't it, that these days no number of shops is enough to satisfy William Hill's greed, until every vulnerable person in the country is spending their benefits there? It might add 5 local jobs, but only if the shop's takings are 50 people's incomes. It's not a tough equation to work out if it's a good thing or a bad thing for the area. Josh Mellor
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