Give your views on plans to curb betting shops in Barking and Dagenham

Residents are being asked for their views on the council’s efforts to tackle the large number of betting shops in the borough.

The authority has launched a public consultation into a number of proposals, including one which would see companies forced to apply for planning permission to turn a shop, food outlet or drinking establishment into a book makers.

Currently betting shops are in the same ‘use class’ as these types of businesses which means the authority has no power to put a stop to any more opening.

Among other suggestions put forward by the council is putting a 400 metre exclusion zone around existing book makers to prevent the clustering and concentration of such premises.

The proposals form part of a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) called Evening the Odds: Curbing the proliferation of betting offices.

Cllr Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This has been a concern for the council for many years and we have been trying to tackle it head on.

“We consider that it is in the interests of our residents and the vitality and viability of our town centres that this proliferation needs to be carefully controlled.”

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He said that research had shown that the number of betting offices restricts the retail choices available to local communities and can also have a damaging effect on people’s health and finances.

Cllr Geddes added: “As a Council we are committed to improve the diversity and vitality of our high streets, bring in new and attractive businesses which create employment for local people and most importantly; tackle the health, social and crime fallouts which can be related to problem gambling.”

The public consultation was launched on May 15 and runs until June 26.

To give your view go to, email or post to Planning Policy, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Barking Town Hall, 1 Town Square, IG11 7LU.