Barnet Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent overhaul of local planning rules after Barnet Council failed to stop a casino from winning planning permission to open in the heart of Finchley Central.
Some 617 residents wrote to object to the 'Cashino' being built in the old NatWest building at 48 Ballards Lane. Despite being rejected by Barnet's Planning Committee, the Cashino has won the go-ahead after a successful appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
The result is a disgrace. No one wants or needs a gambling den in Finchley. Slot machines create gambling addicts. The new venue will take its place along five betting shops in the area. It will be open every day from 7 AM until midnight. And it's the second 'Cashino' in Finchley: the first one opened in North Finchley in September 2020.
The Cashino will do enormous damage to Finchley Square, the proposal to bring street markets and civic life to the heart of Ballards Lane. The inspector said that despite the council's concerns, "little detail has been submitted" on how the betting shop would damage the redevelopment plans. How could Barnet Council have messed this up so badly?
Enough is enough. Barnet's planning policies must be tightened immediately to stop any more slot machine shops opening on our high streets.
See here for links to official documents pertaining to the planning application.
We the undersigned believe it is a disgrace that loosely-written local plans have allowed a second slot machine den to open in Finchley's town centre. These gambling centres create addiction and damage society and public health. We therefore petition Barnet Council to review its Local Plan immediately, and put in place robust rules to block any such high street casinos from winning approval in the future.
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