Paddy Power launches another bid to open a second branch in Kilburn High Road
- Credit: Archant
A betting shop chain that failed in a bid to open a second branch in Kilburn High Road on the Brent side are trying again – this time across the street in Camden.
Paddy Power has submitted an application to Camden Council to be granted a licence in a shop between Marks & Spencer and Boots yards away from a housing unit for vulnerable men with addiction problems.
Last year, residents and traders in Kilburn won a campaign to stop Paddy Power opening a second branch on the busy thoroughfare which is also home to three William Hill branches and two Ladbrokes.
They had claimed the number of bookies on the high road, which is split between Brent and Camden Council, had made it a magnet for gambling chains thus attracting anti-social behaviour and driving away shoppers.
The application was subsequently rejected by Brent Council who said there was a greater need to preserve retail units in an area saturated with “non-retail units”.
This latest application has attracted similar criticism with residents submitting a 25-signature petition to Camden Council against the plans and husband and wife Kilburn councillors Maryam Eslamdoust and Thomas Gardiner also lodging formal objections cittng its close proximity to Conway House.
In her letter Cllr Eslamdoust, said: “This is a very deprived shopping street saturated with betting shops. Paddy Power already has one double fronted branch on the high road, this particular application will be in close proximity to Conway House on Mutrix Road a housing unit for hundreds of single homeless men with addition problems.
“The residents of Conway House will find it impossible to avoid the lure of this premises situated between a supermarket and the Kilburn High Road station (all essential amenities) for them.
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“It would be undesirable on our community in Kilburn to dismiss the problems posed by the premises, the application does not meet our licensing objection and I would urge the panel to turn this application down in its entirety.”
In his letter Cllr Gardiner said: “If the licence is granted it will be in contravention of the protection of vulnerable people licensing objection.”
In December 2013, Ed Miliband, the then leader of the Labour Party, visited Kilburn High Road to announce he would bring in new legislations giving councils the power to halt the number of betting shops opening in their boroughs if he won the general election.
He added he would review the number of high-speed, high-stakes fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) allowed on their premises - including banning them altogether.
The terminals dubbed “the crack cocaine of gambling” allow players to gamble £100 in 20 seconds.
A decision will be made by Camden Council’s licensing panel on Thursday (30).