Aslot machine arcade refused planning permission to open on the High Street following a community campaign has been given a gambling licence. 

Almost a thousand people signed a petition against the old HSBC bank at 91 High Street,  being turned in to an Admiral gambling centre. The application for change of use was refused by planners who said it was contrary to the revised Local Plan.

However, the company ploughed ahead with its plans for a gaming licence which was approved and now they are to appeal against the planning decision.

Dozens of objections were received by the council against the licence for the 24 hour gaming establishment citing : high crime, anti social behaviour, deprivation and influencing impressionable children attending the leisure centre opposite.

The High Street already has a number of betting shops, the majority of which close at 10pm. After discussions with the police Luxury Leisure, Admiral’s parent company, revised the proposed operating conditions from 24-hour opening to 7am to 2pm. 

Members of the Thornton Heath Community Action Team and Cllr Karen Jewitt put a strong  case forward to the licensing committee against granting the licence but the law was not on the side of  the objectors. The council could have faced a £50,000 legal bill if it had refused the licence bid and an appeal was upheld. People who objected  to the original planning application will be contacted by the council once the Planning Inspectorate has set a date for community representations.