Despite objections from local MP Sadiq Khan, local councillors, residents and Wandsworth Council’s planning committee, the Government has given Tooting’s 23rd betting shop the green light, at the site of the old H Samuel Jewellers on Mitcham Lane.
Tooting constituency currently has 22 betting shops, compared with the national average of 14, and this latest approval from the Government will take the number of betting shops in Tooting up to 23.
As part of his ‘Save Our High Street’ campaign, Sadiq Khan led the opposition to the planning application. The council backed Sadiq and local residents and refused the appllcation when it came before the planning committee back in February. However now the Government’s Planning Inspectorate has overturned the council’s decision – allowing planning permission for the betting shop.
Sadiq Khan MP said,
“Just when we had convinced the council to do the right thing by rejecting the planning application for yet another bookies in Tooting, the government has pulled the rug from under them.
“How can it be right for the government to impose a decision on us, when the local community and our elected representatives have said no to another betting shop opening on our high street?
“This is exactly the reason why I have been calling for changes in the law on high street planning. Power needs to be given back to the local community, so we can say yes to the shops we want to see and no to the ones we don’t. The government need to stop stalling and implement the changes to give local councils the power to decide what is best for our community. I will continue to press the government to take urgent action, before we see any more betting shops opening on our high streets.”