Planners refuse amusement arcade bid

Plans for an amusement centre in Blackpool have been refused
Plans for an amusement centre in Blackpool have been refused
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Proposals to convert a former charity shop to an amusement arcade have been thrown out by councillors.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee rejected an application to use the former Barnado’s shop on Abingdon Street for slot machines.

JWT Leisure, which already operates amusement centres in Talbot Road and Church Street in the town centre, said its investment would bring premises back into use after 12 months of being empty.

A design statement accompanying the application says: “The change of use which is envisaged involves bringing the premises back into use for a complementary non-retail use, commonly found in shopping areas including seaside towns.”

Council planning officers had recommended the application be approved by the committee.

They said issues including the high vacancy rate of units on that section of Abingdon Street, the employment benefits and the opportunity to attract year round trade outweighed other considerations.

But councillors voted to refuse the proposal saying it would be “detrimental to the character and appearance of Abingdon Street which is a busy thoroughfare in the town centre.”

It was decided the change of use would “not help to re-establish the town centre as the first choice shopping destination for the residents of Blackpool and the Fylde coast”.

There was also concern the scheme “would not contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle for the residents of Blackpool.”