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Swale Council approves plan for flats and adult gaming centre in Sittingbourne High Street

By Ellis Stephenson

Permission has been granted for a new three-storey building to be constructed to house two one-bedroom flats and an adult gaming centre.

Councillors voted for the proposal to build the new addition on land between 119A and 121A High Street, Sittingbourne.

It was originally called in after Cllr Ghlin Whelan (Lab) objected to the plans and the meeting was held on Thursday, April 25.

Adult gaming machines will be a feature of the centre
Adult gaming machines will be a feature of the centre

The scheme was approved at a meeting of the planning committee in November and Swale council officers were told to add some conditions.

However, a blunder meant the approval for officers to grant permission, subject to the conditions being attached, was not reflected in the minutes.

It meant it had to be presented to the committee again and on Thursday, April 4 councillors debated voting it down.

Officers then delayed the decision so a final report could be prepared on the dangers of not approving the application, based on the decision in November.

It was finally given the go-ahead last month.

A council source said the last time a new building was put up in the High Street was when Halifax was granted planning permission in 2006.

A statement supporting the plans, submitted by firm Godden Two, said: “The activity proposed for the ground floor is that of an adult-only amusement centre consisting of gaming machines, ancillary catering and retail sales.

Plan for flats and an gaming centre needed second hearing
Plan for flats and an gaming centre needed second hearing

"Such establishments are found in most shopping centres.

“Indeed, there is a similar one in this centre at 62 High Street.

“They have different effects from amusement arcades.”

It added the ground floor premises would be soundproofed and have a window display of goods, if approved.

The document added: “The proposal would be different visually from other non-retail uses.

"The public perception is the window displays compare favourably with retail uses.

“Amusement centres of this kind are harmless to nearby traders. They do not cause noise or disturbance.”

It is hoped the new facility will help to fill the gap in the High Street.

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