RGT EXCLUSIVE: William Hill have withdrawn their application for a betting licence at the former Barclays Bank on Plumstead High Street.
After two failed change of use applications over the last couple of years, followed by a successful appeal to the Planning Inspectorate where Greenwich Council failed to submit any evidence, it looked like a sixth bookmakers in Plumstead was a certainty.
Local residents had one last attempt to thwart the granting of a gambling licence, with very limited grounds for objection, but managed over 1200 signatures on a petition to the council. Many also objected to the application in person, with ten being allowed. The hearing was originally scheduled for the first week of October but this was delayed until November 8th.
After the revelation earlier today that the council’s “clear, abject and repeated failure” over the original planning appeal had resulted in a bill of almost £8k for local council tax payers, an announcement has been made that William Hill have withdrawn their application “for commercial reasons for the time being and that a further application may be submitted in the next few months.”
The battle isn’t over yet, but Plumstead does have a temporary reprieve. With further planning mistakes coming to light weekly and external consultants now being employed to fix the chaos at Greenwich planning, at a cost of £50k, there are still many questions remaining unanswered. Greenwich Council’s internal investigation has now completed but remains unpublished – enquiries from concerned members of the public under Freedom of Information legislation have been blocked so far.
More to follow…