A PLANNING inspector has granted permission for an empty shop premises to be turned into a betting shop.

Wiltshire Council refused planning permission to Coral Racing Limited for a licensed betting office at 6 Bridge Street because it felt the retail function of the area would be undermined.

Councillors felt a short term gain in terms of filling a vacant unit and creating some jobs would be at the expense of the long-term viability of the city centre.

But inspector Brian Cook said retail function is about “viability and vitality” and there was no evidence that that a betting shop would undermine this function.

He judged the application should be granted, subject to three conditions, including a restriction on opening hours.