Applicant is hoping adult gaming centre plans for Wisbech will be a winner
An adult gaming company wants to turn a former electrical supplies store in Wisbech into a two-storey gaming centre
The move by Cashino Gaming Ltd follows the withdrawal of a previous application by Adrian Johnson of Bury St Edmunds to convert the former Hughes Electrical building at 48 to 40 Market Place into “high quality apartments”.
A heritage, design and access statement drawn up in support of the application by Planning Potential Ltd describes the proposed change of use as "an excellent opportunity to ensure this vacant unit in Wisbech town centre is brought back into economic use and once again plays a positive role within the local community."
It continues: "The proposals also seek to incorporate a sensitively designed shopfront and signage scheme that will enhance the appearance of the vacant unit, thus adding to the vibrancy of the Conservation Area."
The statement also argues the change of use will help reduce the number of vacant units in Wisbech, and will place a "neutral stance" on the Conservation Area by safeguarding the physical condition of the unit.
It continues: "The proposal would bring with it a permanent occupation of the vacant unit that will complement the area with a viable use, contributing to the vitality of the area.
"Therefore the change of use will breathe a new lease of life into the ground and first floor, whilst helping to steadily achieve the council's priority of diversifying the local economy further. Importantly the change of use will preserve the extensive glazing a key feature of 48-49 Market Place."
The statement adds the change will not only contribute to both the day and night time economy but will also create new jobs, but it does not say how many.
A covering letter from Henry Hodgson of Planning Potential Ltd explains the adult gaming centre will not have fixed odds betting terminals - which are normally found in betting shops.
The machines will offer low stakes of between 10p and £2 with the average stake being between 30p and 40p.
There will be bingo machines and tablets and customers will be offered free teas and coffees.
The letter adds: "Adult gaming centres are where people go to spend their spare change, have a game of bingo and enjoy their favourite pastime.
The machines generate "low levels of noise" and customers normally visit on their own or in couples, but rarely in large groups, says the letter.
Mr Hodgson concludes: "The principle of the proposed change of use is entirely acceptable and the proposals will protect and enhance the vitality and viability of this part of the town centre.
"The proposal complies with the local and national planning policy and it is respectfully requested that the application is approved without delay."