‘Viva Las Irish Street’!

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

‘Viva Las Irish Street’! thumbnailHospice premises beside the proposed gaming site at Irish Street, which Cllrs fear will become a Las Vegas,

TWO prominent town Councillors have hit out at the decision of the Planning Committee to grant approval to an amusement arcade on Irish Street, with one expressing concern that Irish Street could soon become the "Las Vegas of Dungannon"!

An application was brought before the planning committee to change a ground floor retail unit at 21 Irish Street to an amusement arcade.

Members of the planning committee were advised that the location was within the area of townscape character but just outside the primary retail core by planning officials.

The committee was also made aware of two objections to the proposals.

One objection was received from the Southern Area Hospice which occupies the adjoining property. They Hospice expressed concern over the noise impact, parking issues and road safety and claimed that this type of development is already in existence on Irish Street.

Another objection was received on behalf of the residents of Irish Street and Greer's Road who were concerned the application would not be in keeping with the current use of the street.

Permission was granted for the gaming arcade on the basis that it remains closed between 11pm and 8am every night.

Speaking to the Courier about the decision, Cllr Walter Cuddy expressed fears that Irish Street would soon become the 'Las Vegas' of Dungannon.

"There is clearly a demand for gambling facilities in Dungannon. I am not opposed to satisfying that demand. My concern lies with the growing number of these facilities located in Irish Street," said Cllr Cuddy.

"Gambling is an addiction, which can ruin families and individual lives. I think it is wrong to place so many of these highly addictive facilities in close proximity of each other. There is a real danger here that Mid-Ulster District Council will be seen to be promoting more gambling in the area.

"Unless there is a corporate decision to make Irish Street the Las Vegas of Mid-Ulster, I do not think it's acceptable to cram more of these facilities into the one street.

"I have been speaking to residents from Union Place, Fairmount Park and Irish Street, all of whom agree that we should exercise a degree of moderation when looking at the proposed location of gambling premises in Dungannon.

"The Council should be balancing their decisions on this matter by issuing guidance regarding gambling addiction."

His views are shared by independent Councillor Barry Monteith.

"I think there are ample opportunities to gamble in Mid-Ulster but unfortunately the planning committee have made their decision and there is little the Council can do," he said.

"The planning committee has full power of the council. Decisions made by the planning committee can't be overturned but personally speaking, I really don't see the need for it to be there.

"There is already ample opportunity to gamble in Dungannon."

A spoksperson for Mid-Ulster District Council said: "The planning committee has always had delegated authority as set out in the remit of commitee in Planning Protocol and the Scheme of Delegation."


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