Bet­ting shop plan with­drawn

Pro­posal close to cen­tre and hos­tel

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PLANS to open a bet­ting shop next to a youth cen­tre and hos­tel have been thrown out fol­low­ing ob­jec­tions.

Co­ral Rac­ing Ltd has with­drawn an ap­pli­ca­tion to turn the empty Hori­zon Elec­tron­ics shop in Sta­tion Road, Hayes into a Co­ral book­mak­ers.

How­ever, the company said it had not ruled out re­sub­mit­ting its ap­pli­ca­tion.

A spokesman said: “The coun­cil re­ceived ob­jec­tions to the pro­posed ap­pli­ca­tion, and be­ing a re­spon­si­ble op­er­a­tor, we took the decision to with­draw the ap­pli­ca­tion for now, and in­stead we will be look­ing to en­gage with those par­ties be­hind the ob­jec­tions, to es­tab­lish what ex­actly their con­cerns are and how we can ad­dress them, after which we will make a decision on whether or not to pro­ceed as orig­i­nally planned.”

The plans had been crit­i­cised by var­i­ous com­mu­nity groups as some felt the bet­ting shop – which would be Hayes town’s 11th – might tempt vul­ner­a­ble young­sters liv­ing at the nearby YMCA, also on Sta­tion Road. David Brough, chair­man of Hayes Town Part­ner­ship, said: “It is great that Co­ral’s seem to have re­alised that they were fac­ing a fight in try­ing to get a li­cence for yet another bet­ting shop in Hayes, es­pe­cially at such a sen­si­tive lo­ca­tion.”

How­ever, on learn­ing that the with­drawal may not be fi­nal, he added: “We will con­tinue to main­tain our op­po­si­tion. It’s to­tally in the wrong place and in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

“We are firmly of the view that this is just not right. I don’t see that there is go­ing to be any­thing that will con­vince us oth­er­wise.”

The company sub­mit­ted its orig­i­nal ap­pli­ca­tion in Septem­ber, but for­mal ob­jec­tions were quickly lodged. At a meet­ing called by Hayes Town Part­ner­ship, the ob­jec­tions were sup­ported by Hayes YMCA, lo­cal churches and faith groups, a GP from the nearby Or­chard Prac­tice, the Hilling­don Cham­ber of Com­merce and Botwell ward coun­cil­lors.

In re­sponse, Hilling­don Coun­cil’s li­cens­ing com­mit­tee post­poned a meet­ing to dis­cuss the ap­pli­ca­tion from Oc­to­ber 2014 to Jan­uary 2015.

Mr Brough said: “58 Sta­tion Road is vir­tu­ally next door to the Hayes Young Peo­ple’s Cen­tre and the YMCA hos­tel, which is home to many vul­ner­a­ble young­sters.”

n OB­JEC­TION: David Brough

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