New bid for bookies in genteel resort

AN INDEPENDENT bookmaker is having another go at setting up a betting shop in a high street once dubbed "the Bond Street of East Anglia".Bobby Swift, who has a chain of seven bookmakers across north east Essex, wants to open a branch in Connaught Avenue, Frinton.

AN INDEPENDENT bookmaker is having another go at setting up a betting shop in a high street once dubbed "the Bond Street of East Anglia".

Bobby Swift, who has a chain of seven bookmakers across north east Essex, wants to open a branch in Connaught Avenue, Frinton.

Mr Swift already has a shop in Fourth Avenue, which he wants to close down and transfer 200 yards around the corner to the town's main shopping thoroughfare.

Tendring District Council has already blocked one attempt by Mr Swift to open a betting shop in Connaught Avenue – but he is undeterred and has put in another planning application to open a bookmakers in the former Jaycards shop.


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But once again the council's development control committee looks set to refuse planning consent.

A report prepared by planning officers advises members: "Connaught Avenue is a high quality district shopping centre and retailing in all its forms should be the main function of this important shopping centre against which new proposals should be judged.

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"In this instance it is considered that approving the application would result in an unacceptable concentration of non-retail units that would compromise the vitality and viability of Connaught Avenue in terms of both an important shopping centre and a conservation area."

Frinton Residents Association is opposed to the application. Planning spokesman Charles Harrison said: "We are not against bookmakers as a group, but we want to retain Connaught Avenue as a retail shopping area. We don't like to see the erosion of retailers. We want to retain it as a primary shopping centre, as the Bond Street of East Anglia."

A national chain of bookmakers, Done Brothers, also wants to open a betting shop in Connaught Avenue, in the former Monmouth Emporium shop. Tendring District Council turned down its application and the company is in the process of appealing against the decision.

Mr Swift opposed the Done Brothers' attempt to open a branch in Frinton, fearing the impact it would have on his business.

Linda Mead, company secretary at Bobby Swift, said: "We have got to beat Done's. If Done's get in and we don't our shop round the corner closes and we lose three jobs. We have got another shop in Frinton and we are quite worried about that, too."

The committee is due to discuss the planning application next Tuesday .

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