Councillors to decide on bid for Bellshill bookies

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COUNCILLORS will be asked to decide on Thursday on the latest plan to open a betting shop in Bellshill town centre.

Bookmaking chain Paddy Power has lodged an application with North Lanarkshire Council for consent to convert a former hot food takeaway at 216 Main Street into a betting shop.

But the application has sparked concern due to the number of betting shops which are already in the town centre and Bellshill Community Council have submitted a formal objection.

However council officials will recommend that the shop is given the go-ahed when it goes before the council’s planning committee.

In their report officials will tell councillors that the application meets appropriate planning criteria and is an acceptable use of premises which would not be detrimental to the amenity of the area.

They will also recommend that permission is granted because the proposed change would result in previously vacant unit being brought back into a footfall generating use, adding to the vitality of the area.

But the plan has been slammed by Bellshill Community Council who have written to both First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron, asking them to intervene.

Secretary Duncan McLeod told both leaders: “As a community group we feel that there are sufficient bookmakers in Bellshill and that authorities need to look into applications for this type of establishments being allowed to open.”

For the full story see February 20 edition of the Bellshill Speaker.