Bookies win race to open in resort
By Becky HallewellA BOOKMAKER is celebrating today after winning a planning battle to open a new betting shop in a seaside resort. Bobby Swift applied more than a year ago for planning permission to trade in Connaught Avenue in Frinton.
By Becky Hallewell
A BOOKMAKER is celebrating today after winning a planning battle to open a new betting shop in a seaside resort.
Bobby Swift applied more than a year ago for planning permission to trade in Connaught Avenue in Frinton.
Often referred to as “the Bond Street of East Anglia”, the avenue has long been a collection of upmarket retail shops - and, anxious that it should stay that way, Tendring District Council refused the bookmaker's bid.
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But after a rival chain of bookmakers, Done Brothers, also applied to open a shop in Connaught Avenue, Mr Swift decided to appeal against the council's decision.
Now Mr Swift has won his battle after a planning inspector ruled the part of the road in which he wanted to trade comprised a sufficiently even mix of shops and businesses.
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Mr Swift - whose independent gaming business already includes seven shops in north-east Essex - plans to open for business at the former Jaycards shop in time for the Grand National in April.
“I'm delighted - it's a moral victory, but having to wait so long has left a bad taste in my mouth. There was no change in my application whatsoever,” he said.
“A bookmakers is part of everyday life. Why should Frinton be any different? It's about time it was brought into the 21st century.”
But Gillian Sandford, chairman of Frinton Residents' Association, said: “ We don't want to lose our retailers. One by one, the changes of use could be the thin end of the wedge.
“Frinton has a lot of elderly people living here with no cars. Jaycards sold a lot of useful household things, not just cards, things you can't get elsewhere. A lot of pensioners can't afford taxis. Slowly the character of the avenue will change.”