Former New Look set to become adult gaming centre

Adult gaming centre bid for New Look Gorleston

New Look in Gorleston in 2014. The shop has now closed. It has temporarily hosted a pop-up vintage shop but has been broadly empty for 12 months. A bid for an adult gaming centre will be decided by planners on Wednesday August 25, 2021. - Credit: Google Maps

Plans for an adult gaming centre in a former fashion shop are poised for approval.

New Look's High Street branch, in Gorleston, was among those shut as part of a "rescue restructure" to save the chain after sales slumped due to Covid-19.

A bid to open an adult gaming centre is being looked at by the borough council's development control committee on Wednesday (August 25) with officers saying it should be allowed.

The report says it has come to committee because of the high level of comments on both sides.

A total of 31 supporters argued the plan should go ahead because it would add to the mix on the busy high street, create jobs, and be something else to do.

"With no other bidders after New Look it can't just be coffee, food, or charity anymore," a supporter said.

One respondent described it as "a nice addition bringing jobs" and "low stakes fun."

Others, however, said gambling was not a positive force and that the retail hub already had Magic City and the seafront amusements nearby.

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It was described as "the last thing" the high street needed and "a slippery slope" by one of the 49 people who objected.

One person said: "It's a high street, not a seafront."

The applicant MJS Amusements, which operates three other centres in Gorleston, responded saying some of the objections, including those on moral grounds, were not material planning issues.

A report being put to committee members concludes the gaming centre would not harm the high street.

It states: "It is considered that given current empty shops in the identified primary shopping area, the short-term nature of the current use (as a pop up vintage shop), and the ability to secure active frontage by a pre-use condition, there is no harm to the diversity and vitality of the shopping centre, caused by recommending approval.

"Some employment is created and there is no compelling evidence that employment will be lost."

It goes on: "Matters relating to the adverse societal impact of gambling can only carry very limited material planning weight, if any."

The committee meets at 6pm on Wednesday in the Assembly Rooms at Great Yarmouth Town Hall.