Court grants licence to gambling operator - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

Plans for another amusement arcade in Harringay took a step forward this week after a licence was awarded on appeal.

Highgate Magistrates Court granted Ablethird Ltd a gambling licence on Wednesday for 48 Grand Parade, Green Lanes, despite fierce opposition from residents.

The company owns numerous amusement arcades across south east England. The arcades house gaming machines that typically offer cash prizes of up to £35.

Haringey Council, which refused the application in December, was ordered to pay the company £10,000 in costs.

Councillor Nilgun Canver, cabinet member for enforcement and safer communities, said: "We are disappointed by the outcome. We have tried to act in the best interests of our residents and respond to their concerns."

The decision does not guarantee the centre will open.

The premises were previously used as offices, so Ablethird must obtain planning permission, which has been twice refused by the council. The planning application is now the subject of a public inquiry.

Resident Mario Petrou, who led the campaign against the betting shop, said: "This is one more disastrous decision against local people by magistrates following another inept defence by the council.

"The council surely owes it to local people to appeal this awful decision.

"One area of hope is that planning permission is also required for this particular proposal and a date for the planning inquiry will be set soon."

Last month the council was ordered to pay £10,000 costs to Metrobet, after the company won an appeal to open a betting shop at 507 Green Lanes, following the councils refusal to grant the licence.

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