Agenda item


(The Democratic Services Officer, who had declared an interest

in this item, left the meeting while it was under consideration)


            TheDirector of Planning and Building Control reported that an application had been received from Oasis Retail Services Limited for the provisional grant of an Amusement Permit at 73-75 North Street.  The Committee was advised that the application related to the relocation of an existing amusement arcade at 19 North Street, the necessity for which was linked to a wider regeneration initiative for the north-eastern part of the City Centre.  The Director advised that the grant of planning permission for the amusement arcade at No.73-75 North Street (Ref: LA04/2018/0098/F) had been subject to a legal agreement whereby the existing amusement arcade at 19 North Street would close once the proposed arcade would become operational.


            The Members were advised that the proposed replacement arcade would consist of 85 gaming machines, which would represent a decrease of 15 machines from the existing arcade’s 100 machines.  All would pay out a maximum all cash prize of £25.00 and admission would be restricted to persons aged 18 or over.


            The proposed opening hours of the premises, as specified on the application, were:


            Monday to Sunday:       9.00 a.m. to 12.00 midnight


            The Director pointed out that no representations had been received in response to a public notice of the application and that both the PSNI and NIFRS had no objections to the application.  


            The Director outlined the evaluation of the application against the criteria contained within the Council’s Amusement Permit Policy. She referred to the application premises being in the Retail Core of Belfast City Centre and the fact that the Amusement Permit Policy had a presumption against permitting amusement centres to open in the Retail Core. However, she advised that the Permit Policy did state that an exception could be made for applications which were for renewals or part of a major, retail-led mixed-use development. She continued that, this application sought to relocate an existing amusement arcade 150m closer to Royal Avenue, the relocation of which would help facilitate the assembly of property for the regeneration of the north-eastern quarter of the City Centre.


            The Director advised the Members that the requirement to relocate the amusement centre to facilitate regeneration, and the requirement of the planning permission to close the existing amusement arcade at 19 North Street once this proposed arcade became operational, were factors that the Licensing Committee might wish to consider in the determination of this permit application.


She advised that, should the Committee be minded to refuse the application for the Provisional Grant of the Permit, or to grant the Permit, subject to any discretionary conditions, that it would be required to advise the applicant of its intentions to do so and to afford the applicant the opportunity to make representation at a specified Licensing Committee meeting on the matter before making a final decision.  She further reported that if, upon hearing the applicant, the Committee should refuse the application for the Provisional Grant of an Amusement Permit or decide to grant the application subject to discretionary conditions, the applicant could within 21 days from the date on which notice of the decision was served on him, appeal to the county court.   


            The Director, with the aid of a Power point presentation, provided an overview of the proposed location for the new premises and its location in relation the two listed buildings. 


            The Chairperson welcomed Mr. M. Trimble, Applicant, and Ms. D. Thompson, Planning Consultant, to address the Committee.  They briefly outlined the need for the relocation of the premises to facilitate redevelopment and regeneration of the existing premises at 19 North Street and reiterated that the existing premises would close once the new arcade opened.


            The Committee agreed to approve the application for the Provisional Grant of an Amusement Permit at 73-75 North Street and to delegate authority to the Director of Planning and Building Control to issue on completion of all technical requirements.


            (The Democratic Services Officer returned to the meeting)


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