South Shields planners approve relocation of Betfred into former Bonmarche store

A betting shop’s bid to relocate to larger premises in South Shields town centre has been given the green light.

It is hoped the move by gambling firm Betfred from its current location will help it “meet demand” as well as “retain a local business and staff employment” and return a “vacant unit back into active use”.

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An objection to the scheme was lodged by a Lynwood Way resident, raising concerns the impact larger gambling facilities could have on “health, social and cultural well-being”.

South Shields's former Bonmarche is set to become a Betfred

But local authority planners argued betting shops are “not considered uncommon in town centre locations” and that the proposed use was acceptable.

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A decision report explaining the reasoning behind the approval claimed the proposal would revive the “dead” commercial frontage, with the revamped unit “capable of attracting a reasonable number of visitors”.

The paper added: “It is considered that the proposed use would be appropriate to its commercial town centre location; and would not result in the unacceptable loss of a retail unit or cause harm to the viability and vitality of South Shields town centre.

“Despite the potential for two betting shops to operate in close proximity, the proposal would bring a larger vacant unit back into use and would help to promote the long-term vitality and viability of the town centre.”

Under planning conditions, the relocation plans must commence within three years.

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The existing Betfred unit, in King Street, is also expected to be put on the market.

For more information on the plans, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/1183/21/FUL

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