Planning permission has been granted for a store in Stevenage Old Town to become a betting shop.

Stevenage Borough Council's Planning and Development Committee granted the permission at a meeting on Tuesday, January 10.

The premises, at 67-69 High Street, have been used since the 1930s by J Deamer and Son, a hardware store.

However, it has been available for let February 2022 and is now set to be occupied by Boyle Sports, which made the application for planning permission.


As part of the works associated with the change of use, the building - which was built in the 18th century and is Grade II-listed - will be painted blue.

The timber shopfront will be replaced, an illuminated external sign will be erected, and multiple satellite dishes and air conditioning condenser units will be installed at the rear of the building.

According to the report provided to the committee by planning officers "Historic England have assessed the proposal and have no concerns".

There are already three betting shops on the High Street, with a further three in the town centre.

Several public representations were received by SBC. Among them were these objections to the change of use:

  • Will encourage gambling, likely causing more addictions and debt
  • Need better quality places to socialise, eat and gather, not betting shops
  • Does the High Street need another betting shop?
  • The painting of the listed building would change the character of the building and not be fitting with the area
  • Will likely encourage crime and disorder

The report provided to the committee said that: "The applicant has been unsuccessfully marketing the site since February 2022.

"While some initial interest was shown, no offers have been made other than the applicant of this current application [Boyle Sports].

"With no other viable offers, the property would be left to stand vacant in this important primary retail area, to the detriment of the vitality and viability of the High Street."

According to Boyle Sports, the shop will employ six members of staff - three full-time, and three part-time.