Agenda item

Agenda item

134971/FO/2022 - 67 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BW - Deansgate Ward

The report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing is enclosed.


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing that presented an application for the use of a ground floor property on Deansgate in Manchester City Centre as an Adult Gaming Centre.


It is proposed to change the use of the ground floor to an adult gaming centre (Sui Generis), with slot machines for gambling. This would occupy the ground floor with the upper floor and basement used for storage and staff facilities. The premises would be open to the public and in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 


This site is a three-storey building with frontages onto Deansgate and Barton Square. The building adjoins the Grade II* Listed Barton Arcade and is in St Ann’s Square Conservation Area and adjacent to the Parsonage Gardens Conservation Area.


The building is not listed but is a non-designated heritage asset with decorative stone elevations and modern shopfronts.


The planning officer noted the information in the late representations report regarding the marketing that was taken to let out the property and explained why this was not successful. The applicant stated that vacancy rates had risen on Deansgate and that no other offers came forward for the property during the advertising period. The planning officer confirmed that the officer’s recommendation was still to refuse the application.


No objector to the application attended or made any representations.


The applicant’s agent for the application addressed the Committee and stated that there were no external alterations and that the refusal reason given was that the scheme was not compatible with Deansgate. Leisure uses in this area were permitted by the city council and the NPPF specifies that this style of property is a leisure-based premises, appropriate for town centres. The agent expressed that it would surely be better to have this development and the creation of 12 jobs, rather than a derelict shop front. He noted that the client had provided a bespoke plan and that the use of digital displays would add interest to the frontage. Another gambling premises in this location with digital displays in the windows had their planning applications approved and the agent noted that a refusal reason was regarding the scheme providing insufficient natural surveillance and would be harmful to the vitality, viability and character of the area, yet there had been no objections from the environmental agency or GMP, who had encouraged a 24-hour establishment. Having a premises open for 24 hours a day would be good for the area in terms of safety, environment and security. Adult Gaming Centres are notable for generating increased footfall in town centres, information in which had been submitted to the city council and possibly overlooked. The agent concluded by stating that the client would not have chosen this area if they did not think it suitable and requested that the Committee overturn the officer’s recommendation to refuse the application.


The planning officer stated that all the reasons for the officer’s recommendation to refuse were set out on page 86 of the printed report.


Councillor Davies stated that there were restrictions on traffic in this location which can lead to it feeling less safe for pedestrians with a reduced traffic flow. She noted 2 points, that units in this area had been empty and also had traffic controls in place prior to the pandemic. It had been raised that this had impacted on businesses in this location and Councillor Davies felt that it was not currently a good place for businesses. Councillor Davies supported the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse this application but asked, if approved, what would the opening hours be and would security be on site?


The planning officer stated that the Committee could restrict the hours of operation if they approved the application.


Councillor Leech noted the agent’s comments on other local gambling establishments and asked if the refusal reasons were robust enough for the Committee to agree without an appeal being subsequently lodged.


The planning officer expressed that the refusal reasons were robust and defendable.


Councillor Leech thanked the planning officer for their assurance.


Councillor Andrews moved the officer’s recommendation of Refuse for the application, noting that the scheme was contrary to the policies contained in the report.


Councillor Davies seconded the proposal.




The Committee resolved to refuse the application for the reasons detailed in the reports submitted.

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