Local MP ‘extremely concerned’ as adult gaming centre wins licence to open in Palmers Green

More than a thousand people signed a petition against Palace Amusements opening a gambling venue in Green Lanes, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous (inset) is concerned about the impact of Palace Amusements
Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous (inset) is concerned about the impact of Palace Amusements opening a gambling venue

Enfield Council has granted a licence for a new gambling venue in Palmers Green despite fears it could harm the local area.

The council issued a licence allowing Palace Amusements to operate an adult gaming centre at 369-371 Green Lanes, telling residents it was “compelled by law” to do so in the absence of “valid, relevant representations”.

Planning permission to change the use of the premises is still required before the venue can open as an adult gaming centre.

More than 1,270 people have so far signed a petition warning the gaming centre would be “totally unsuitable” for the area, which is already home to four betting shops and a Merkur Slots adult gaming centre. Campaigners fear another gambling venue would increase crime and risk harming children and other vulnerable groups.

But in a letter to residents who had opposed the scheme, council licensing officer Ellie Green pointed out that some of the objections they raised related to planning issues, while others were speculative or had been addressed in a risk assessment submitted by the applicant.

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Under government legislation councils have an aim to permit gambling, providing it is considered to be reasonably consistent with licensing objectives.

Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous said he was “disappointed” that the licence had been issued, adding that he was “extremely concerned about what another adult gaming centre will mean for our high street and for residents”.

The MP has written to the government urging it to provide a timetable for the introduction of legislation that would allow councils to take into account the cumulative impact of gambling venues on an area when considering licensing applications.

Giorgia Scaturro, who launched the petition against the gaming centre, said campaigners knew it would be “a hard battle to fight” and that while they were “extremely disappointed” by the outcome of the licensing process, they were now ready to oppose a planning application.

She added that she hoped the council would reject plans “for a development that not only goes against the regeneration plan for the area, but is also strongly opposed by the local community with over 1,270 people signing the petition to say no to yet another betting shop on their high street”.

Giorgia continued: “I call on all Palmers Green residents to keep vigilant and check Enfield Council’s website for updates on the planning application so that we can be ready to email our objections again, this time hoping to be granted a public hearing to discuss them.”

Enfield Council and Palace Amusements have been approached for comment.

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