Another gambling outlet approved for Rotherham town centre

ANOTHER gambling outlet in Rotherham town centre has been given the green light – with RMBC saying the use is better than leaving the unit empty.
The premises before The Works closedThe premises before The Works closed
The premises before The Works closed

The former The Works bookshop on Effingham Street was last used as a nail bar but this closed within weeks earlier in 2023.

The new applicant, Mr P Chambers, then asked the council if the site – next door but one to an Admiral casino – could also become a gambling centre.

Proposals say the business will create eight jobs and contain 50 gaming machines.

Two letters of objection were sent to Rotherham Council, raising concerns about the “significant over-concentration” of such venues in the town centre.

A council spokesperson said: “The proposal would bring a vacant property back into productive use.

“There is no doubt that the proposed use would not generate the level of footfall from a retail use, but in comparison to a vacant premises this would still be a benefit, including associated linked trips and employment.”

In additon, RMBC cited its previous attempt to block another gaming centre on Frederick Street, which was eventually passed on appeal in September 2021. The street is also considered “primary shopping frontage”.

And responding to the concern that the concentration of gaming arcades in the town centre is too high, the spokesperson said: “With regard to the issue relating to there being a number of gambling centres close to the application site, it is considered that whilst this would be true, a planning application cannot be refused due to their being a concentration of a certain use.”

But RMBC did add a condition to the planning permission to confine operating hours to 8am until midnight, where the applicants had asked for the premises to be allowed to open 24/7.

Meanwhile, plans for the former Poundstretcher unit on Bridgegate to become a restaurant and takeaway have moved a step closer.

The premises were last advertised as about to open as a gym when they were damaged in the fire which destroyed the Rhinos pub in summer last year.

RMBC has told applicant Mr Parvez that the conversion would be classed as permitted development and would not require a new planning permission.