Resort in battle of the bookies
By Juliette MaxamTHE owner of a small chain of betting shops has vowed to fight a likely decision to block his plan for a bookmakers in the road once dubbed “the Bond Street of East Anglia”.
By Juliette Maxam
THE owner of a small chain of betting shops has vowed to fight a likely decision to block his plan for a bookmakers in the road once dubbed “the Bond Street of East Anglia”.
Bobby Swift wants to open a betting shop in Connaught Avenue, Frinton, in the former Jaycards store, but residents in the famous resort are opposed to a bookies opening in their prime shopping street.
Mr Swift already has a bookmakers in Fourth Avenue, Frinton, just 200 metres away from Connaught Avenue.
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He is trying to move into the town's main thoroughfare in an effort to fight off competition from Done Brothers, a national bookmakers chain.
Done Brothers is appealing against a Tendring District Council decision to turn down its plan to also open a betting shop in the former Monmouth Emporium shop in Connaught Avenue.
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Mr Swift - who owns seven bookmakers in Frinton, Clacton and Colchester - said he was worried if Done Brothers came to the town, it would put his bookmakers in Fourth Avenue out of business.
Planning officers have recommended Tendring District Council's development control committee should turn down Mr Swift's application at its meeting on Tuesday.
The betting shop is also opposed by Frinton and Walton Town Council and Frinton Residents' Association, which said it would increase the concentration of non-retail units in the street and, therefore, affect the character of the area.
Gillian Sanford, chairman of Frinton Residents' Association, said: “We are very concerned about the loss of retail shops.
“We have got so many estate agents, banks and offices in Connaught Avenue and we are losing our shops.
“We are not opposing the application just because it's a bookmakers, we're opposing it because we don't want to lose our shops.”
Frinton Chamber of Commerce chairman, Rosie de Koff, said: “We need to have retail shops and create business for Frinton-on-Sea. However, we need the people of Frinton-on-Sea to use those shops.”
Mr Swift said he had employed an independent planning expert, who had said if his application was turned down, he would win an appeal.
“We have got a shop 200 metres away from the current application. All we want to do is move 200 metres,” he added.
“Out of all the hundreds of people living in Frinton, only four or five have sent letters of objection.”