Reasons for the refusal were given as: "The proposed variation of Condition (1) to allow use of the premises for unrestricted A2: Financial and Professional Services including the use as a betting shop, would be likely to give rise to anti-social behaviour and disturbance including a risk of an increase in crime detrimental to the maintenance of a safe and accessible environment for local residents and users of the town centre where crime and disorder or fear of crime does not undermine quality of life or community cohesion..." See the application here.
Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to object.
Meanwhile, betting shops were mentioned in The Portas Review – An independent review into the future of our high streets published on 13th December (see p.29):
13. Put betting shops into a separate ‘Use Class’ of their own
I also believe that the influx of betting shops, often in more deprived areas, is blighting our high streets. Circumventing legislation which prohibits the number of betting machines in a single bookmakers, I understand many are now simply opening another unit just doors down. This has led to a proliferation of betting shops often in low-income areas.Currently, betting shops are oddly and inappropriately in my opinion classed as financial and professional services. Having betting shops in their own class would mean that we can more easily keep check on the number of betting shops on our high streets.
Hopefully the government will take note – and do the same with Pawnbrokers while they're at it.