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Slot machine shop given go ahead in Saltash

Slot machine shop given go ahead in Saltash

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:33am 22nd April 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

A slot machine shop has been given planning permission to open in Saltash but will not be open for 24 hours as operators requested.

Praesepe Holdings had applied to Cornwall Council to change the use of the shop in Lower Fore Street for use as an adult gaming and amusement centre. It is currently home to Coral Racing.

Under the plans the shop would be operated under the name Merkur Slots and have slot machines.

In a planning statement the applicants said: “The proposed use will comprise electronic gaming and amusement machines, including electronic bingo. The venue will also serve complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks and snacks, including small re-heated finger food and dry snacks.”

There had been a request that the centre could be open for 24 hours a day but Cornwall Council planning officers have granted permission on the basis that it is open during the same hours as pubs in the town.

The planning statement adds: “It is believed that this application will add to the mix of uses within the Saltash Primary Shopping Area; supporting the vitality and viability of the town centre.”

It continues: “The use will help sustain the wider diversification of uses in the centre, while helping to improve the evening and night-time economy. There will be no loss of retail and the proposed use will be similar to the existing lawful betting shop use.”

Saltash Town Council had objected to the plans due to the proposals for 24-hour opening, that the plans were not in keeping with the ethos of the area and “general disturbance”.

In their report planning officers said: “The Town Council have raised concerns that the proposed use is not in keeping with the ethos of the Conservation Area. In response, it is recognised that Adult Gaming and Amusement Centres can often raise concerns that the use signifies a degeneration in standards which ‘lowers the tone’.”

They add: “In this case, given that the proposed use is contained within the existing building, it is not considered the proposal will impact on the Conservation Area above and beyond the existing lawful use as a betting shop.”

Addressing the request for 24-hour opening planning officers stated:

“The proposal seeks to use the premises for 24 hours, but this is not considered acceptable given the potential impact on local residents through increased noise and disturbance. Therefore, it is considered appropriate to impose a condition to restrict opening hours to adopt similar hours to public houses in the local area.”

Planning permission was granted but on condition that the shop is only open from 8.30am to 11.30pm Sunday to Friday and 8.30am to 1am on Saturdays.

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