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Game on as plans for gaming centre in Wisbech get go-ahead

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An empty Wisbech shop is set to get a new lease of life after planners agreed it could be converted into an adult gaming centre.

The change of use for the former Hughes Electrical store on the Market Place is expected to create up to 12 jobs.

The move by Cashino Gaming Ltd was backed by Fenland's planning officers who concluded: "The proposal will enable the growth of a new local business without detriment to the character of the area or amenity. The development is considered to satisfy the requirements of the necessary policies of the Fenland Local Plan. Thus a favourable recommendation is forthcoming."

Plans have been have been approved for the conversion of the former Hughes store into a gaming centre.
Plans have been have been approved for the conversion of the former Hughes store into a gaming centre.

A heritage, design and access statement drawn up in support of the application by Planning Potential Ltd explained the proposal was “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.”

Adding the proposalswould 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.

Cashino also made it clear that its gaming centres are not betting shops and have machines offering low stakes of between 10p and £2 with the average stake being between 30p and 40p.

There will be no machines with fixed odds, which are normally found in betting shops.

There will be bingo machines and tablets and customers will be offered free teas and coffees.

Planning Potential also said: “Adult gaming centres are where people go to spend their spare change, have a game of bingo and enjoy their favourite pastime.”

They offered reassurance that they do not normally cause anti-social behaviour as the clientele normally go there either individually or in couples rather than in large groups.

Cashino's application followed the withdrawal of a previous proposal by Adrian Johnson of Bury St Edmunds to convert the former shop, after Hughes Electrical relocated to the HorseFair Shopping Centre.

In granting permission Fenland Council warned the consent would not prevent action being taken by its environmental health team if they received a substantiated complaint or complaints with regard to noise, waste, or other environmental health issues.

Read more: Applicant is hoping adult gaming centre plans for Wisbech will be a winner

And more: 'High quality apartment' plans for Fenland town centre premises

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