Arcade wins appeal to open in Huntingdon

HUNTINGDON will have an amusement arcade in its town centre by the summer, against the wishes of the town and district councils. The arcade will be in the town square and is set to open seven days a week after a planning inspector upheld an appeal by a

HUNTINGDON will have an amusement arcade in its town centre by the summer, against the wishes of the town and district councils.

The arcade will be in the town square and is set to open seven days a week after a planning inspector upheld an appeal by arcade firm Carey Leisure. The firm's application had been refused by Huntingdonshire District Council.

The site of the arcade, which will house gaming machines for over-18s only, is the former Barclays Bank building at number six, Market Hill.

Town centre manager Katy Sismore described the decision as disappointing, but insisted any new business coming to Huntingdon would be welcomed.


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"Both the town and district councils made it clear from the very early stages that they felt the location was inappropriate," Ms Sismore said.

"We have done everything we possibly can but we have to follow the rules, even if we do not agree with them."

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The town council branded the idea 'completely alien' when opposing the planning application in June 2007, stating that the positioning was inappropriate and would attract anti-social behaviour.

Andrew Campbell, agent for Carey Leisure, told The Hunts Post: "We are pleased with the decision - it is one we hoped the planning inspector would reach.

"Mr Carey [applicant Thomas Carey] has been paying rent on the site throughout the appeal process and is keen to open as soon as possible - all that remains now is to apply for permission to erect a sign.

"There is minimal building work that needs to be done - just removal of partitions from when the site was a bank - so we would hope to be open within a couple of months."

In his report, planning inspector Anthony Davison said Huntingdonshire District Council could not provide evidence as to exactly what harm the arcade would cause to the character of the area.

The arcade will be permitted to open from 9am-10pm on Monday-Saturday and 10am-7pm on Sundays.

Carey Leisure currently operates an amusement arcade in South Street, St Neots.

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