All bets are off?

MEN AT WORK: Workmen at the planned site for the new bookmakers
MEN AT WORK: Workmen at the planned site for the new bookmakers

MORE than 100 Banchory residents have tipped the odds against a new bookie’s shop in the town centre.

Some 121 representations have been received by Aberdeenshire Council from people stating their concerns about the opening of the proposed new bookmakers at 68 High Street.

Public comments closed last week.

The new bookie would be in the former Inter-Sport shop.

Banchory currently only has one betting shop, Deeside Bookmakers in Dee Street, and many voiced opposition to the opening of another.

SAFEGUARDS

Proprietor of Deeside Bookmakers, Ron Sim, said: “Because of the Gambling Act 2005 there isn’t the same safeguards relating to competition now. I expect there will be a downturn in the business but I’m sure our loyal customers will continue to support us.”

Others expressed concerns about the potential negative image that a betting shop in the High Street might have.

On the Piper’s Facebook page, most of the 22 comments received were against the proposal but a few supported it.

Rebecca Lucy Cannon said: “I think it’s such bad news for Banchory. One betting shop is enough and the current position of the bookies is fine as it is out of the way and off the High Street!... it’s so untasteful and not at all in keeping with Banchory’s idyllic image!”

STYLES

Phil Morris added: “Is one bookie not enough in Banchory? We are already overrun by coffee shops and new agents, no wonder our High Street has little kerb appeal with not much room for any other styles of retail outlets.”

But Mark Walker argued: “To the people who are against this, what would they prefer - to let the building become empty? At least a tenant is going into the High Street or would you prefer an empty shop unit to join some of the others in the town?”

Colin Redman commented: “Just don’t use the new bookies and it will soon go away.”

As so many letters of representation have been received, the proposal will now be discussed at an upcoming meeting of the Marr Area Committee.

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