Longer opening hours secured at bingo hall with costs

In deciding that the use of a foyer associated with a bingo hall in north London could remain open for longer periods an inspector has also made a full award of costs in favour of the appellant.

The foyer was used for electronic gambling after the bingo hall had closed. The council had refused permission, preventing almost continuous 24-hour operation because it would encourage people to congregate longer in the area to the detriment of local residents living nearby due to noise and an increase in antisocial behaviour. But there was little evidence to support this assertion, the inspector decided. The police authority did not object to the scheme and any antisocial behaviour could be deterred by the use of CCTV cameras. Nor was there evidence to support the claim that individuals would congregate within or outside the building. It lay within an area where some other businesses opened 24 hours including those offering food and entertainment. Since the council had not substantiated its objections the appellant had been put to unreasonable cost in pursuing the appeal.

Inspector: David Spencer; Written representations

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