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: