Victorious campaigners stop Paddy Power opening a second branch in Kilburn High Road
- Credit: Archant
Campaigners are celebrating after winning a David and Goliath battle which has stopped a betting giant from opening a second branch in Kilburn High Road.
Paddy Power Betfair’s appeal to convert a former shoe shop into a betting shop has been rejected by a government planning inspectorate who ruled the unit’s retail use should be protected.
The company had hoped the government would overturn a decision by Camden Council to refuse it planning permission.
Residents argued the mile-long road dubbed ‘The Strip’ already had eight betting shops and seven pawn brokers which they claimed targeted the most vulnerable people in the area.
Josie Warshaw, a spokeswoman for residents’ association Brent Eleven Streets (BEST), which fought the plans, said: “We are all very happy that the decision’s been made. “We don’t know if we had much sway but glad that the inspectorate listened to us.
“We were fighting against a very financially well off corporation company with a full time solicitor to fight for them.
“They want to get in and they will do anything to get their way because it makes them money. They don’t care about the high street or the people who come into their shops. They just cause misery.
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“Camden didn’t want it and neither did Brent, we’ve all had enough. Is Paddy Power going to appeal again? It’s people power, not Paddy Power we want.”
Paddy Power Betfair had unsuccessfully tried to open a second branch on the Brent side of Kilburn High Road in January 2014 but after this was rejected by the council they switched to the Camden side.
A law limiting bookmakers to four fixed odds betting terminals (FOTB’s) per branch, considered to be one of the most addictive and expensive forms of gambling, is believed to have led to businesses opening multiple branches in the same area.
Caroline Mulloy, the inspector, said that while she believed the proposal would not result in “over-concentration of betting shops” she did believe retail space would attract other retailers to the area “which is essential to the success of the centre.”
Cllr Maryam Eslamdoust, Camden’s Labour councillor for Kilburn ward, said: “I am delighted that the planning inspectorate upheld Camden council’s planning decision to refuse Paddy Power’s application to convert a former shoe shop into yet another betting shop on Kilburn High Road. Hopefully this will send a signal to the betting industry that their onslaught on Kilburn must stop.”
Cllr Thomas Gardiner, fellow Labour councillor for the ward, tweeted: “Delighted we’ve fought off Paddy Power’s attempt to further flood Kilburn with betting shops. Especially well done @MEslamdoust & hardy residents who spent an entire day telling Inspector why there are too many betting shops in Kilburn.”
A spokesman for Paddy Power said: “We won’t be appealing this decision, we won’t take it any further.”