Cheltenham gaming venue to go ahead after appeal

The venue will have up to 60 slot machines.
The venue will have up to 60 slot machines.

A government inspector has accepted an appeal against the council’s rejection of plans for an adult gaming centre.

UK.- Luxury Leisure has finally won the go-ahead to open a new adult gaming centre in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, following an appeal. The local council had rejected the plans to turn a former shoe shop at 218 High Street into a gaming venue, claiming that it would cause anti social behaviour.

However, a government planning official has ruled that there was no evidence of this. It also rejected objections on moral grounds. Luxury Leisure plans to install up to 60 slot machines. It will be allowed to run from 9am to midnight during the week and from 10am to 10pm at weekends.

Various groups had campaigned against the proposal, including the Brewery Quarter, Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, St James Action Group, MP Alex Chalk, borough councillor Max Wilkinson and the Minster church. Some 80 letters of objection were submitted to the council, leading the council to reject the planning application in May of 2023. It was of the opinion that the development would harm the vitality and appearance of the town centre and be unacceptable on residents because of noise.

The planning Inspector said the gaming centre “would not materially impinge upon the centre’s retail character, its attractiveness or vitality”.

“Concerns have been raised about the potential for anti-social behaviour attributed to the proposed use, but there is no firm evidence before me that this would prove to be the case in practice based on the operation of other such venues,” the inspector added.

Bacta welcomes UK government policy on gaming machine ratio

John Bollom, the president of the UK gaming hall trade association Bacta, has welcomed the UK government Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s proposals for the gaming machine ratio at arcades and bingo halls.

The government is undertaking a supplementary consultation on the ratio of Category B3 gaming machines to Category C and D machines. Category B3 machines have a maximum stake of £2, a maximum payout of £500, and a 2.5-second minimum game cycle. The government is proposing a 3:1 ratio.

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