THE odds on a national bookmaker’s opening a new branch in Wrexham have lengthened after objections by community leaders.
Corals Racing has submitted a planning application to open a turf accountants in Garden Village. The premises involved are part of a travel agents in a small shopping area on the main Chester Road.
Planners from Wrexham Council will make the final decision on the application but Rhosddu community councillors are firmly against the plan.
The shopping area houses a chemist, a travel agents and a convenience/post office. There is a small area for two disabled drivers and a bus stop a few yards away on the main road. Corals has applied for a change of use of 173 Chester Road between the Co-op and the travel agents from a class A1 shop to A2 financial and professional services including a new shop front, installation of two air conditioning units and two satellite dishes to the rear.
Rhosddu council clerk Nigel Hodges told members the council had already received a number of objections from residents. Work has already started on splitting the large existing travel agents to accommodate the proposed bookmaker’s
The three local members attending the monthly community council meeting – Gerry Craddock, Haydn Roberts and Gordon Roberts – all raised objections, mainly on the ground of highway issues. They said parking outside the shops was already insufficient and a bookmakers was bound to create additional parking problems.
Councillors were told a bookmakers at the rear of the nearby Four Dogs pub had closed and an application for a bookmakers at the former Hobbies Shop had not been followed up.
Cllr Craddock said the council should find out the exact planning definition of a shopping centre in a residential area.
Cllr Haydn Roberts wondered if the council would object if the application was from a financial/ pensions office but said a bookmakers would inevitably increase traffic in the area.
The council unanimously agreed to recommend refusal on the grounds of parking and access to the shops which already has major problems.