South Yorkshire Times, November 9.
Denaby Petition in Betting Shop Plea
because a hardware shop in Doncaster Road, Denaby Main, would soon be affected by a Slum Clearance Order under plans for redevelopment, Conisbrough Urban Council, had refused to sanction the conversion by the owner, Mr James Walton, into licensed betting offices, Mr R.E.Edwardson, representing the Council, told Tuesday’s local enquiry into Mr Walton’s appeal against the Council decision.
Mr Edwardson told Mr A.R.Chown, a Ministry of Housing and Local Government Inspector, “The Council’s approach to this is very simple. It appeared to them, in the light of their clearance proposals, unwise to allow the establishment of a new business in this property in an area ripe for redevelopment.
“It is not sound planning to allow the establishment of an entirely different type of business, which require special planning permission, when property is to come down within two years,” he added.
Mr Edwardson said that the property, numbers 108/109 on Doncaster Road, was in fact affected by the council’s current five-year slum clearance programme, approved by the Minister in June this year.
It was situated in area number 5 of the programme, which comprised 35 houses on the South side of Doncaster road to be re-presented to the Minister for clearance in December 1964.
Mr Edwardson submitted that if the Clearance Order for the Area was curbed firm by the Minister, as had been the case with two previous owners, the order would finally be confirmed in April, 1965 and the tenants rehoused by September 30 that year.
Mr Edwardson added that Denaby Main, with a population of 6,694 was already reasonably well served by eight betting offices, four of which were owned by Mr Walton.
The crux of the Councils case was that the premises would be affected by those orders at an early date and under the Housing Act, clearance property should be acquired by the Council as soon as possible after the order was confirmed.
Mr Walton told the Inspector that he had been in business as a bookmaker in Denaby Main since 1933, and now at seven licensed betting shops in Conisbrough and Denaby. He had bought the premises 108/109, Doncaster Road, in 1959, and a lease from the owners, the National Coal Board, still had three years to run. The NCB had consented to the establishment of a betting shop there.
When he first notified the Council of his intention to apply for a Betting Office License, they had enquired whether or not he had received permission from the NCB. This he took to indicate some personal prejudice on the part of the Council.
The Council and objected in writing to his application to the Betting Licensing Committee stating that the scheme was inexpedient, bearing in mind the existing facilities and the number of officers already available; that location was not suitable because of every traffic, and alleging that children would bring bets.
Mr Walton strenuously denied the alleged betting of children – further evidence of prejudice, he claimed – and stated that neither of these objections were the concern of the Council in any case.
Mr Walton produced a petition, signed by about 100 residents of nearby houses, stating that they had no objection to his plans. He thought the Clearance Order would not be effective for many years because of the problem of re housing.
Summing up, Mr Walton’s appeal, Mr H.D.N.Snape pointed out that although the property concerned might well form part of the County Council’s proposed flyover crossing of the main Sheffield to Doncaster railway line, the authority had not sent a representative to support the councils case for refusal. He interpreted the absence as an indication that the County cap Council new that the local authorities case was weak, and that the flyover itself was of long, long way from fulfilment.
The premises were situated in an area already developed commercially. He concluded: “having regard to the character and atmosphere surrounding the refusal I would say that the Council are endeavouring to act ultra vires (beyond their powers) and that their refusal is entirely misconceived”
The enquiry was closed and the Minister’s decision will be announced in due course.