D-Day looms for Potters Bar gambling centre

A HEARING over the proposed Potters Bar gambling arcade will take place this Friday – but many people who oppose the development won't be there. A decision on the controversial plans to put an adult gaming centre on Darkes Lane is expected when Hertsmere

A HEARING over the proposed Potters Bar gambling arcade will take place this Friday - but many people who oppose the development won't be there.

A decision on the controversial plans to put an adult gaming centre on Darkes Lane is expected when Hertsmere Borough Council's licensing sub-committee meets in Borehamwood at 10am.

The project has attracted widespread criticism and more than 500 complaints from concerned residents about the impact of gambling in the area.

But many of the community's most vociferous protesters will not be able to attend.

That is because the date clashes with Women's World Day of Prayer: a global day of prayer among Christian women that takes place every year on the first Friday of March.

Members of Churches Together in Potters Bar are furious the council has overlooked the event.

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John Wainwright of Churches Together said: "The date discriminates on religious and equality grounds.

"Every year the first Friday in March is Women's World Day of Prayer, which will involve a lot of the ladies in Potters Bar from Churches Together, who otherwise would have wished to be at the hearing."

The licensing hearing had originally been set for today (Wednesday), but the applicants Agora asked the licensing committee to change the date, as the consultant set to represent the company's case was unavailable.

Mr Wainwright added: "A date should be convenient to both parties. I realise you cannot find a date to suit everyone but surely it would have been a basic courtesy as well as a matter of justice to have liaised with those representing the majority of the Potters Bar population."

A council spokeswoman said: "We appreciate this is a very important issue for a lot of people and we are sorry.

"We tried our best, but we can't accommodate everybody on the same date."

She said the meeting would be broadcast live on the council's website. Log on to www.hertsmere.gov.uk from 10am.

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