Snooker room plan is rejected

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Controversial proposals to create a snooker and games room for the community have been rejected by councillors, over concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour.

Members of the Heavy Woollen Planning Sub-Committee refused plans to convert a disused shop at Dual House, Wellington Street, Batley into a space for people to play snooker and socialise with friends, at a meeting last Thursday.

They raised concerns over a “lack of continuous management” of the premises and said it could lead to an increase in the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour for local residents.

Outlining their reason for refusal, they said: “This would outweigh the benefits of the re-use of the vacant building and fail to create a sage and accessible environment, significantly undermining the quality of life of the local community.”

The planning committee was told that a petition with 202 signatures was received in support of the application. It said the building would “provide much needed facilities for Batley” and would not “cause problems” for neighbours.

A petition with 43 signatures was also lodged in objection, and concerns were raised over possible high volumes of traffic, inadequate parking, noise and a potential increase in crime.

Further representations were made after a committee meeting in February, when members agreed to defer a decision on the plan.

Police also objected to the proposed development, which was anticipated to have attracted 10 people per hour to socialise with friends, and play pool and snooker.

They said: “It is likely to cause an increase in serious anti-social behaviour, nuisance and criminality in the vicinity of the premises as well as a rise in the fear of crime and tensions within the local community”.