| PLANS for a new 24-hour casino in Bournemouth town centre have been recommended for approval.|
In a report which will be considered at a planning board meeting, officers have supported the application by Aspers’ Casino to take over two units in the new BH2 development in Exeter Road be granted – provided the firm supplies £16,000 towards new CCTV.
The report states: “The creation of a casino alongside other more ‘family based’ leisure facilities is not uncommon, but notwithstanding this, it does raise the need for careful consideration.
In this instance the lower ground position of the casino and independent access arrangements afford the premises a degree of discreetness and isolation which subject to stringent management and tight security will ensure the premises can be well controlled and can be a good neighbour to other leisure uses within the development.” The £50m BH2 complex will include 13 restaurants, shops, a 10-screen Odeon cinema and parking for 175 cars. It is being built for developer Licet and Legal & General.
Several planning and licensing applications have been made by firms looking to move into BH2. These include restaurants Las Iguanas, Joe’s Kitchen and Bella Italia.
Ward councillors Bob Chapman and David Smith have both objected to the plans. In a letter they said the application “presents a major change from the cinema and catering uses which were finally approved, where there was no mention of a casino” and that the site had been referred to as “a family entertainment centre”. The officers’ report states that Dorset Police recommended Aspers’ make a financial contribution towards CCTV coverage.
According to the plans, backed by BH2 developers Legal & General and Licet Holdings Ltd, the gambling firm would take over two of the largest units in the centre to create a two floor casino, open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year. It would feature live jazz music, a VIP area and electronic gaming machines.