Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Betfred appeal dismissed!

Good news just in! The Government Inspectorate has dismissed Betfred's appeal against the previous Inspector's decision to decline permission for betting office use at the old Halifax premises.
Overall, I conclude that the balance of likelihood is that the use enabled by the removal of the condition in dispute would give rise to anti-social behaviour and disturbance to local residents and other users of Deptford District Centre; that the fear of crime would be enhanced by an additional betting office in close proximity to 5 others; and that there is a risk of an increase in actual crime. Such outcomes would broadly conflict with the intentions of criterion (d) of UDP policy STC4. There would also be material conflict with the social component of sustainable development, as set out in the NPPF. However, I have not identified conflict with any part of Policy 6 in the Lewisham local development framework Core Strategy (June 2011), also cited on the Council’s decision notice.
Sorry, this writer had to go back to work and miss the fanfares and celebrations...

UPDATE 15-06-2012: Details...and Peckham continues the struggle...

The Deptford Dame has since gone into some detail about the Inspector's decision, which may have ramifications for any betting company who has to go through planning, with an interesting speculation on Betfred's next move – the High Court? (If only!). Dept Misc has also published the Inspector's decision in his post Deptford 4 - Betfred 0.

Deptfordians have been fighting Betfred since January 1st 2011 when we first spotted the notice on the old Halifax building of Done Brothers applying for their Gambling License. We soon discovered the Licensing Committee were powerless to turn them down, and, as Dept Misc sums up, it's only through a quirk (or foresight) of planning that we have held them at bay.

However, in Peckham, campaigners have just on Thursday (ironically the day after Deptford's good news) suffered the same disappointment as we did in January 2011, as Betfred swanned through Southwark Licensing Committee to get their Gambling License. Campaigner Rowenna Davis wrote the disappointing news on Thursday evening to fellow petitioners who had attended the license hearing at Southwark council that morning:
Despite a brilliant set of presentations from representatives of Peckham church groups, police, residents and business leaders, I'm afraid we lost the case today. BetFred is set to open.

However, we did manage to win a stronger set of conditions - I believe extra staff and security measures - which I believe the council will publish shortly. I also think the fact we tried and failed tells a very important story about how local people don't have enough power. I think the licensing committee would have liked to have sided with us, but didn't feel they had the legal authority to do so. I plan to write about this and keep fighting the next application for a betting shop, which is at the Bun House.
In this case, Peckham folk do not seem to have ahead of them the opportunity of seeing Betfred "go through planning" – though neither did Deptford campaigners see any hope back in January 2011.  If anyone wants to contact Rowenna to help her in Peckham, please email us for her details.


  1. Hurrah!

    Now if we could only have our local Halifax bank back, rather than having to drive all the way to Scurvy Quays, the world would be much much better.


  2. Fantastic news.Thanks to Sue and everyone who opposed Betfred.I wish my name was'nt in there name.Fred

    1. You don't have the same surname, Fred. Don't think the Aylward Brothers have tried to impose risk based capitalism on high street.

  3. Fantastic, and I got the impression by the way the inspector worded things that he was not best pleased at the Vile Betfred wasting his time. Particularly well done Sue and all who kept up the pressure. Let's just hope the bastards don't buy on of the other empty shops.

  4. Just shows you what determined individuals as part of collective cross community action can achieve !! Brilliant news for all who kept the faith...They've also contributed a lot to the wider struggle to save High Streets from the current law that is taking hold

  5. Boris JohnstonFriday, June 15, 2012

    It is fantastic news. Any ideas on how we can get the existing ones off our patch? I hear that chocolate coins in the slot machines can bring em to a standstill. And big stickers on the windows saying "we're a bunch of losers" makes a point.

  6. @Nemo, other shops are Retail only. No, when the 99p Shop ruins all the independent pound shops as you probably foresee, it will be Pawnbrokers who take them on, not Betting Shops.

  7. There are now 14-15 cameras at the south end of the high street as a result of Paddy Power/Ladbrokes answering to the community via the Safer Neighbourhoods Team et al. WTF? Who is looking at the monitors, who is watching, who is in control?

    Hear all the Safer Neighbourhoods team being put in Deptford cop station (and all patrol car teams operating out of Lewisham) so I guess there's one out of nine people on shift watching those monitors (if the cameras are working).

  8. Power to the people
    Well done Sue and everyone involved in the fight against Betfred. Now WE PEOPLE have the opportunity to create something original and successfull in the vacant property.
    We could work together as a voluntary organization and open a charity shop with a twist. A place where not only you can buy books etc but also have a craft shop and classes to create objects and sell them in the same place. A place where the Deptfordians meet together and create something together. For a better idea please visit 'Departure' in Limehouse.

  9. Turns out the cameras have now been removed. Not Paddy Power/Ladbrokes answering to the community at all, but put there by the Dispatches film crew!!!