Northampton town planners are objecting to plans to convert a town centre bank into a bingo and amusement hall. The planners believe that bringing a bingo hall to a very prominent location in Northampton’s Grosvenor Centre would not only be an ‘eyesore’ but would also ‘encourage the undue concentration of adult leisure uses within the retail core of the town centre’. Weirdly when both bingo and high street retail operations are failing, the Northampton Council planning department seem to think that having an empty unit on the high street that will fall quickly into disrepair, is preferable and less of an eyesore than a building that will be used and enjoyed by the bingo playing community.
It begs the question why let so many former banks and old buildings be turned into pubs which could (and often do) attract a far more sinister element to the high street. Lets face it high streets up and down the country now have prime position pubs that feature some pretty offensive anti-social behaviour from fights, urinating in the street and large groups of smokers congregating on pavements. Surely Northampton planners can see that having the much more demure and well behaved bingo playing community in a prime location would be preferable – after all how many ladies of a certain age who have been to play bingo at their local Mecca or Gala Bingo club for the evening relieve themselves on the street in full view of the passing public?
The article published in the Northampton Chronicle states that the Woolwich building has been empty since 2007, and surely Northampton council planner’s argument therefore doesn’t hold water that by allowing the building to be occupied by a bingo hall that they are reducing “the opportunity to bring a retail use back to a prominent unit”. Surely they must see that if the building wasn’t occupied by a retail operation pre-recession that the likelihood of one taking on the building when so many retails shops are failing is all the more implausible. Come on Northampton planning committee, get into the real world don’t sit in your ivory towers, visit a local Mecca bingo or Gala Bingo hall and see for yourself – Bingo Hideout can assure you, the ladies and gentlemen who enjoy their bingo games are no threat to the morality or the sensibilities of the populous of Northampton!