Casino plan gets go-ahead - Monday 6th of October 2008

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a late-night casino on the edge of Lancaster have been approved - despite opposition from ward councillors.

The gambling centre at Riversway House in Morecambe Road, will open from 6pm-4am seven days a week and could create around 30 jobs.

The plans had sparked objections from headteacher at Our Ladys Catholic College, Brendan Conboy, who said the casino would set pupils a poor example.

And residents raised fears they would be unable to sleep, and over the impact on parking and traffic.

At a meeting of Lancaster City Councils planning committee, the opponents won the support of Skerton East ward members, Couns Abbott Bryning and Robert Redfern.

But the plan, which will see the casino operate on two floors of the building, with offices above and 48 parking spaces, was approved on an 11-6 vote, with two councillors abstaining.

Planning rules meant the committee was not supposed to consider the social impact of gambling.

Applicant and building owner, Andrew Brakewell, a property developer, now hopes to enter into negotiations with would-be operators.

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