Milton Keynes MP, Iain Stewart, backs betting shop changes

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City MP Iain Stewart has welcomed the move by the government to curb the spread of betting shops on High Streets.

Betting shops currently do not need planning permission to open, but this will be changed so local authorities will have the ability to scrutinise proposals.

Iain Stewart MP said: “I know that the amount of betting shops that have been setting up on Queensway has been a big concern for residents and other businesses in Bletchley.

“This move will give the power for residents and local authorities to have a much bigger say. I know the government is keen to help and promote healthy and successful High Streets.

“The government has done this in the right way. This was an issue that needed serious attention and a decision based on careful considerations of evidence, not the knee jerk reaction some were asking for.”

The Conservative Candidates for Bletchley Park, which covers Queensway, have also praised the move.

Candidate, Alex Walker said: “This is a really welcomed move by the government. It is a genuine concern for many residents in Bletchley.

“Variety on High Streets is so important and this move will help decision to be made at a local level which is even more important. We are working incredibly hard on several ideas to help Queensway; this announcement is a welcomed boost.”

The government has also announced it will also be looking at controls on gambling advertising and protections for players on fixed-odds betting terminals.

Nick Boles, Planning Minister, who recently visited both Woburn Sands and Wolverton said, “The government is taking action to support healthy and vibrant local high streets.

“This is part of a wider set of measures designed to get empty and redundant buildings back into productive use and make it easier for valued town centre businesses like shops, banks and cafes to open new premises, while giving councils greater powers to tackle the harm to local amenity caused by a concentration of particular uses.”