Frinton rebuffs bookies bids
THE discreet folk of Frinton do not want new betting shops "ruining" their beloved upmarket high street, a councillor claimed last night.Frinton town councillor Terry Allen's comments came after he and other colleagues voted unanimously to object to plans to transform Connaught Avenue – once dubbed the "Bond Street of Essex" – into a mecca for horse and dog racing punters.
THE discreet folk of Frinton do not want new betting shops "ruining" their beloved upmarket high street, a councillor claimed last night.
Frinton town councillor Terry Allen's comments came after he and other colleagues voted unanimously to object to plans to transform Connaught Avenue - once dubbed the "Bond Street of Essex" - into a mecca for horse and dog racing punters.
It is the latest attempt by the town's elected guardians to stop what they perceive to be the gradual decline of their elegant high street.
Many in the coastal town fought - and lost - a bitter battle to prevent a pub opening there in 2000 and since then some have claimed standards have slipped.
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Home to banks, bakers and handicraft makers, Connaught Avenue has for decades been a byword in Essex for culture and class.
The town currently has one small licensed bookmaker, but that is tucked away from the main shopping street.
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But plans have been put forward to open two more. One, in the former Monmouth Emporium, a large handicraft and model store, which recently closed, is under appeal.
And now, an application has been lodged to open another nearby in 117 Connaught Avenue.
Mr Allen said: "If we allow planning permission for one bookmaker, then that sets a precedent. If people in Frinton want to have a small flutter, they will go round the corner and out of the way.
"They don't want to see big shops in their faces with banks of TV screens. It attracts the wrong sort of crowd.
"Unfortunately the pub application got through, but that's been a disaster. Have betting shops would just rub salt into our wounds.
"Connaught Avenue is a residential high street - hundreds live there - and that's how we want to keep it," he added.
A manager of the Lock and Barrel pub in Connaught Avenue last night said she did not want to comment on Mr Allen's remarks.
The objection by Frinton and Walton Town Council on Thursday is only one stage in the application process with Tendring District Council due to consider it later this year.