The Homeview Saga: the facts

Many people have posted comments about this topic already, but we wanted to summarise the facts regarding the betting shop application for the former Homeview video store on Brockley Road, as we understand them...

1. The original application by Portland Bookmakers was rejected by Greenwich Magistrates BUT on September 1st, the legislation governing the process by which such applications are made changed, making this decision irrelevant.

2. Under the terms of the new legislation, Lewisham Council is the organisation responsible for granting such licenses.

3. Portland Bookmakers have made a fresh application to Lewisham Council.

4. The deadline by which letters of objection must arrive with the Council is October 8th, 2007.

5. Even one valid letter of objection can trigger a process by which the matter would go to a vote by Lewisham Councillors.

6. However, the grounds for complaint are very limited - even the question of whether or not there is any demand for it (which was one of the key areas on which Coral challenged the original application) is deemed irrelevant.

7. The grounds on which residents can complain are:

  • That a bookie in that location would encourage or support crime and disorder
  • That the bookie would not provide a fair and / or open gambling service to its customers
  • That its presence would put children or vulnerable people at greater risk of harm
It's the third of these which seems to be the most relevant, particularly given the fact that there is a rehabilitation centre for people recovering from addictions very nearby.

8. Although we understand a couple of other businesses are sniffing around the site, Portland Bookmakers actually own it - so even if they get their license application refused, they have a choice whether to sell it, keep it vacant out of spite for this ungrateful community or set themselves up as Portland Family Greengrocers.

9. Despite our initial confidence that the Council would reject the new application, it's pretty clear that the community needs to make its voice heard (again) on this subject if it wants the application to be rejected.

Here's where objections need to go:

Licensing team, Laurence House, 2nd Floor Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, Catford SE6 4RU. E-mail: licensing@lewisham.gov.uk

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Mercury will be outside Homeview on Saturday 22nd at 10.30am for a photoshoot and to cover the campaign. Please show your support.

- said...

What I cannot understand about this, is why did no one oppose the planning application for change of use when it took place back in March?
Whatever the reason, it's too late now...it's been decided.
We will have to do some hard research in order to defeat this one, if indeed we can.

Monkeyboy said...

Any one know the planning application number? you can 'object' online here...

http://www2.lewisham.gov.uk/lbl/planning/planningform.asp

But need the ref number....

Hugh said...

That would be a great help. I, for one, can't remember how the post works and don't own envelopes or stamps.

monkeyboy said...

I may have sent you all on a bum steer? its a licencing application not a planning application...sorry. I guess an email objection to the address in the main post will do?

billiecat said...

I've just received an acknowledgement of my ojection from Lewisham Council Licensing Department. They said that a copy of the letter would be sent to the applicants, and could be used at a public meeting of the Licensing Commmittee, so I'll be watching out for firebombs through my letter box...

Anonymous said...

The Planning application number was DC/06/62680/FT. It was granted on 7th December 2006.

At the time a few signs went up stating change of use from A1 to A2 - no mention of a betting shop. I asked in the video shop what was going on and again no mention of a betting shop. So I left it at that. Now I feel like objecting to any planning application which says change of use from A1 to A2 in case the same thing happens again. I wish Lewisham Council had made this sort jargon clear to the residents - then I'm sure there would have been some opposition.

Anonymous said...

The "Big 3" bookmakers are systematically monopolising the whole country, and forcing their reduced levels of service on the ordinary punter to maintain profit margins.
Imagine a scenario where the choice of eating out was restricted to Macdonalds, Burger King or Wimpy Bars.
Customers deserve a choice, and the competion of a small independent bookmaker would offer choice to customers, and might just cause Corals to raise the standard in at least three of their 1500+ shops.

Brockley Nick said...

It's a fair argument, although it of course ignores the huge range of betting options offered online. As a non-punter, I don't feel qualified to comment on the service offered, however, the reality of the Portland offer, as depicted on their own website, looks just as grim as every other bookie.

And since the potential market for a bookies is a tiny fraction of the local population, it's fair enough for the majority of people to object to it on the basis that a prime site on the high street will be taken up by yet another grotty betting shop, which will offer most people absolitely nothing.

If the council takes all these objections in to account and still grants the license then we will all have to be grown up about it and move on, but it would be a terrible shame if they did, in my opinion, particularly given that their near-neighbour is a rehab centre for people recovering from addictions, including gambling.

deekers said...

Gee whiz, and who might this "anonymous" supporter of the license application be? You do, of course, have the right to use this forum to put forward your side of the story, but if you have a vested (and by that I mean financial) interest in the outcome, don't hide behind anonymity. You do yourself no favours.

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