Residents rejoiced at the refusal of a planning application for two additional units at the Werrington Centre.
Werrington residents had objected loudly to the application for additional shop units on the basis that they were not needed and would encourage anti-social behaviour and crime in the area.
The council’s planning committee heard that the centre already had four vacant units, one of which has been empty for more than two years, and that in the last year there had been one stabbing, and two armed robberies at the bookies.
Werrington councillors John and Judy Fox said the units, if built, would block the views from existing CCTV cameras and ruin the original design concept from the 1980s to be an open space with wide-open views.
Andy Simmonds, landlord of The Ploughman, said: “Why would anybody want to build something that will only cause more criminal activity by providing dark narrow alleyways and rat-runs for gangs?”
Agent for the application, Leon Devlin accepted that a commitment to extensive CCTV, and good lighting, was an undertaking that could be made, were the application accepted.
Cllr Peter Hiller acknowledged that the police had not raised any objections, but added: “I would say that this does not add anything to the distinctiveness of the area and that it fails to minimise the opportunity to reduce crime in the area.”
Rob Alexander, Local Democracy Reporting Service