Bookmaker Paddy Power to occupy Burnley town centre bank

A vacant Burnley town centre bank is to become a betting shop.

The former Royal Bank of Scotland in St James’ Street, which has been vacant since November 2018, will be taken over by bookmakers Paddy Power.

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The plan was approved by Burnley Council’s development control committee despite an objection.

Paddy Power will occupy the vacant Royal Bank of Scotland building, situated in between Oddies and The Swan in St James' Street, Burnley.

Situated at the end of parade of town centre shops, the 19th century building comprises two floors plus basement.

The ground floor is predominantly open plan with some partitioned meeting rooms and the first floor provides office space and staff facilities

A planning officer’s report says: “Whilst the building has been subject to various alterations over time its proportions, sculptural embellishment and fine craftsmanship are still apparent and combine to form a distinguished example of Victorian architecture and show the building to be one of some status.

“Numbers 40 to 42 St James’s Street is identified as a locally listed building and lies within Burnley Town Centre Conservation Area, which is a notable example of a Victorian/Edwardian civic and commercial centre comprising buildings of fine mid to late nineteenth century architecture.

“This planning application seeks permission for the change of use from bank to betting shop. Internal alterations required to facilitate the conversion are considered minor in nature.”

The objection says that the potential for two betting shops in close proximity would change the predominantly retail character of the frontage and that allowing further gambling uses in the town centre will fail to assist in reducing deprivation, health inequalities and crime.