An amusements company has appealed after its plans to open a casino near a homeless shelter were turned down.

Silvertime Amusements submitted plans last year to change a derelict William Hill betting shop, which has been vacant for nearly four years, into an adult gaming centre.

After a campaign against the proposal, objectors were delighted when Brent Council turned down the bid in October.

In its decision, the council said there would be an “over-concentration” of such centres, pawn shops and payday loan firms in the town.

It added that such venues would “harm the vitality and viability of Harlesden town centre”.

Brent & Kilburn Times: The former William Hill in HarlesdenThe former William Hill in Harlesden (Image: Street View / LDRS)

The Planning Inspectorate is now reviewing an appeal againts the council’s decision.

During this process, a planning inspector will visit the site to consider the likely effects of the proposal on the surrounding area.

One objector, Will Newton, told Brent Council’s planning committee last year: “Harlesden is deeply deprived and the last thing the area needs, with its incumbent mental health issues, is another adult gaming centre. Especially since there are already several within a short walk of the proposed site.”

He added: “These premises generally appeal to the most vulnerable citizens in our area, it is a cynical business model aimed at exploiting the most vulnerable. As residents, we are largely convinced that the area is being targeted by this company because of the high levels of deprivation in proximity to the site.”

Brent & Kilburn Times: Harlesden locals protesting last yearHarlesden locals protesting last year (Image: Cllr Mili Patel)

Another campaigner, Anita Whittaker, called the location of the proposal a “significant concern” as there are already two Silvertime gaming centres in close proximity, as well as Turning Point – a space opened by Brent Council for people struggling with homelessness to walk in and get support.

Anyone wishing to direct a comment to the Planning Inspectorate is asked to send their representation no later than April 15, either by emailing or by writing to Werrett, 3rd Floor - Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House,2 The Square,Bristol, BS1 6PN, quoting reference number APP/T5150/W/23/3332772 to Case Officer Jessica.