Odds against Potters Bar Gaming Centre were slim
HOW can a project opposed by almost everyone affected still be approved by a borough council? That is what Potters Bar residents are asking themselves as they contemplate the arrival of a long-opposed adult gaming centre on Darkes Lane. With a Hertsmere
HOW can a project opposed by almost everyone affected still be approved by a borough council?
That is what Potters Bar residents are asking themselves as they contemplate the arrival of a long-opposed adult gaming centre on Darkes Lane.
With a Hertsmere licensing sub-committee dismissing residents' fears over the effect the development would have on the area, many people are wondering what chance they really had of stopping it in the first place.
The committee was satisfied applicants Frankice (Golders Green), which trades under the name Agora, had vast experience in the industry, owning 115 similar sites across the country.
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And while residents were concerned the centre would see a rise in crime in the area, police offered no objections to the project.
Under the Gambling Act 2005, councils are encouraged to grant licensing applications unless there are exceptional reasons not to do so.
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Arnold Davey, chairman of the Potters Bar Society town group, said: "We're disappointed, but when you see the Gambling Act you've got no chance of opposing it anyway.
"We're just lucky it's not a strip club.
"The whole act is written against you, unless you can produce almost impossible evidence against the development. How that act got through Parliament is beyond me."
Councillor Peter Knell said: "Why should a company impose itself on Potters Bar when 100 per cent of the people involved don't want it?
"Potters Bar didn't want it, but we had no way of stopping it. It was forced upon us and that's what the people are up in arms about."
And Hertsmere MP James Clappison backed his constituents, saying: "I can understand the local people's frustration.
"I think they put up a very good case against it (the adult gaming centre), but it's very difficult for them to succeed given the legal criteria.