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Amusement Centres

Volume 113: debated on Wednesday 1 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent representations he has received about the change of use of premises for amusement centres; and if he will make a statement.

My hon. Friend has received representations from hon. Members of this House and the general public expressing the view that the moral and social issues which so often lead to public opposition to amusement arcades should be considerations to be taken into account in planning decisions. However, the courts have decided that only considerations relating to land use and environmental issues are material. Such material considerations would include location, noise, disturbance and appearance. The impact of a proposed amusement centre on the character of a shopping area might also be material, but this would be judged on the basis of whether the implementation of the proposals would mean the overall number of non-retail outlets reaching an unacceptable level.