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Diss bookmaker bid approved

PUBLISHED: 16:11 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 12 July 2010

Bookmakers Ladbrokes have been given permission to make a controversial move to Diss' main shopping area.

South Norfolk Council's south and east area planning committee approved a planning application on Tuesday which will allow the company to relocate from its current store on Market Hill to the former Castles greengrocers shop in Mere Street.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes have been given permission to make a controversial move to Diss' main shopping area.

South Norfolk Council's south and east area planning committee approved a planning application on Tuesday last week which will allow the company to relocate from its current store on Market Hill to the former Castles greengrocers shop in Mere Street.

The plans had gathered opposition from Diss Town Council, which said the introduction of Ladbrokes on the street would rob the area of retail space, and Diss Business Forum, which claimed the 'loss of prime retail unit could lead to an irrecoverable loss of footfall and traffic through the town centre'.

But the bookmakers had argued that a betting shop would add to the vitality of the street, increase footfall and would be preferable to leaving the unit empty, which had already stood vacant for two years.

Planners at South Norfolk Council had earmarked the planning application for approval saying it was in accordance with policy.

They said the arrival of Ladbrokes in Mere Street would not harm the town centre due to the predominance of shops in the area and the high number of retailers immediately neighbouring the former Castles store.

Members of the planning committee agreed, voting 5-2 in favour of approval.

Ladbrokes was also given listed building consent to make shopfront alterations and permission for a non-illuminated fascia and hanging signs.

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