Thursday, September 28, 2023

More betting shops and payday lenders for Thurrock high streets possible as new planning law comes into force

HIGH Streets in Thurrock could be (more) overrun by betting shops and payday lenders under new planning rules, local councils have warned.

The owners of certain premises no longer have to apply for permission for a change of use from Thursday (May 30th).

The government says the move will boost economic growth and bring boarded-up shops back into use.

But the Local Government Association calls it a “panic measure” that will cause “lasting damage” to High Streets.

The change in planning law is designed to encourage “pop-up” shops or restaurants, which take over empty premises for a short period of time, helping to revive ailing town centres.

LGA chairman Sir Merrick Cockell told the BBC that: “He also wanted to boost trade but the changes would rob local people of a say over the character of their High Streets and could have serious “unintended consequences” in some areas.

We hope these changes will speed up regeneration while still maintaining vital protections for vulnerable town centres”

Local authorities are already powerless to prevent bookmakers and payday lenders opening up on High Streets says Sir Merrick, which has led to the “clustering” of such businesses, often in low income areas.

“We have problems already – you might look at somewhere like Tottenham High Road in Haringey (in London) – they’ve got 11 betting shops in the centre of that High Street under the current rules, because in planning terms we can’t tell the difference between a bank, a betting shop or indeed a payday loan company.

“Now with the changes coming in today, shops that are currently normal shops or cafes or restaurants could also be turned into betting shops without any say whatsoever.”


  1. MADNESS! Highstreets have been in decline since the 1970’s and there is no National Taskforce. Either Local Government – Business or National Govt. The “Queen of Shops” Programme seems to have stalled because of this lack of foresight and national / local c-ooperation / planning.
    Social Fund destroyed Pawn Shops in the 1970’s now they are back as the Social Fund disappears. Gambling is now reaching a national addictive point and all the Govt did was shut down the flow of money tlo CAB & money and other advice organisations. It does make you consider if MP’s and Councillors might be in league with the new “Take Your Money Away Shops” (Eviedence Please)

  2. Just what Grays needs, more Junk shops, High Street Muggers (payday loans) & Bookies, the whole town centre is in danger of self implosion it needs a dynamic leader to push through changes that would see the high street flourish rather than be dragged down to something resembling the Chatsworth Estate (Shameless)

  3. What we really need is incentives for shops up and down the country to be rented/leased out more compeditively and a break up of high streets being owned by a few property companies who have little incentive to lease them out.

    We also need Business Rates slashed and compeditive with other countries.

    the rent and business rates if you look into it make most small shops uneconomical.

    Hi lambo long time.

  4. Maybe the Essex Chamber of Commerce new building will be staffed with people with drive and the ability to encourage business in Thurrock. Bolton Football Club has just rejected a PayDay Loan Co. backing. Please no more PAWN Brokers and Betting Shops or money brokers in Grays, Remember once they have fleeced the local population they will simply shut and move on leaving long term debt & gambling addiction problems. It is amazing to think Parliament considered in 2005 / 2007 that every Town needed a Casino! Get Real Britain!


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