The premises at Ellison Street, Castlebar, at the centre of the successful planning appeal.

Leading betting agency scores Mayo planning victory

An Bord Pleanála has overturned the decision of Mayo County Council to refuse planning permission for a leading betting agency to move premises in Castlebar.

The planning appeals board has granting the go-ahead to Ladbrokes Ireland Limited for the internal subdivision of vacant ground level, single storey retail unit at Ellison Street in the town to include the change of use of the subdivided part to a licensed betting office.

The decision was taken on foot of an inspection report by Paul Caprani, senior planning inspector.

He stated: “It is my view that the occupancy of the ground floor retail unit would represent a considerable planning gain.

"The principle of a betting shop has already been established in the town centre and the existing betting shop on Castle Street which is less than 100 metres away is also located on lands which are zoned for town centre uses.

“It can be reasonably argued therefore that the principle of a betting shop on lands governed by the town centre has already been established.

"And contrary to what is stated in the council's reason for refusal, the relocation of the betting office to another unit governed by the town centre zoning, would not have established an undesirable precedent for such a use.

“Furthermore, while a betting office does not constitute retail use, it does generate appropriate levels of footfall as similar to a retail unit.

"A betting office is frequented by patrons throughout the business hours of the day.

“As such, it is my opinion that a betting office would generate pedestrian activity to and from the premises similar to that associated with a retail unit.

“On this basis I would conclude that the proposed development would generate significant levels of footfall to ensure that the proposal contributes to the vibrancy of the town centre.”