Business issues statement over scrapped plans for 24-hour adult gaming centre in vacant Boston shop

The business behind controversial plans to open a 24-hour adult gaming centre in a vacant unit in Boston town centre has commented on its decision to withdraw its application.
The former Clarks unit, in Strait Bargate.The former Clarks unit, in Strait Bargate.
The former Clarks unit, in Strait Bargate.

Merkur Slots UK had been hoping to take on the former Clarks unit, in Strait Bargate.

In July, Boston Borough Council rejected an application from the chain to expand into the site.

The council argued the bid, if approved, would have an ‘adverse impact upon the character and appearance of the area, the vitality of the primary shopping frontage and town centre, and the Conservation Area’, and that it ​​​​​​would ‘fail to support the creation of healthy, inclusive and safe places which contribute positively to community well-being’.

Members of the public also voiced opposition to the plans. An appeal against the decision was lodged with the Government’s Planning Inspectorate and, after starting in November, had been due to conclude in the coming weeks. In December, the deadline for written statements passed. Last month, a site visit took place. All that remained was the ruling.

As recently as January 5, the business was making the case to The Standard for the plans to go ahead.

A spokesman said: “We are engaging with the review process and aim to return a vacant unit back to commercial use, ensuring it once again contributes to the local economy. The venue will create new jobs and represents much-needed high street investment at a challenging time.”

However, on July 18, the plans were formally withdrawn.

The Standard approached the business for a comment in relation to the u-turn and this week one was received.

It reads: “We were looking forward to returning a vacant unit back to commercial use, ensuring it was able to support the local economy. At this time, however, we have decided to withdraw our application, while we review alternative business opportunities in the area. We have no specific sites in Boston we are considering currently.”

Last month also saw the withdrawal of plans to open a 24-hour adult gaming centre in the unit currently being used by Trespass, in Strait Bargate.

These had yet to be heard by members of Boston Borough Council, but had nonetheless attracted strong public opposition.

A spokesman for the Planning Inspectorate noted that once an application had been withdrawn no further action is taken from its office.