BANGOR traders are concerned that another betting shop could open in the city centre.
Atmore (Bangor) Limited has applied for a change of use application to bring a national betting chain to the former JJB Sports unit, which has been closed since July 2011.
Miraz Khan, owner of mobile phone accessories shop Bamode, said: “If there was something new it would be good, but it’s the same old shops we had before.
“We need need new shops that are going to bring a bit of life into the town - they’re worried about anti-social behaviour but is a bookies going to help or make it worse, I don’t know.”
Atmore originally split the unit into spearate uses for the first floor (restaurant or gym), ground floor (retail) and basement (ancillary - staff orstorage).
Cafe Nero expressed an interest in the premises, but instead opened new branch at the nearby Menai Centre.
The developer said in its application to Gwynedd Council that the only serious proposition was from a national betting chain.
Atmore is “actively seeking” tenants for a restaurant, marketing, professional, financial uses or a gymnasium in the building.
Mike Wilton, manager of Forrest Newsagent, hoped a retail outlet, cafe or restaurant could still be found for the premises.
He said: “I don’t think a bookies will have a detrimental effect, but I don’t see it having a particularly positive effect.”
Derek and Bryan Griffiths of I&H Griffiths noted that a betting shop was better than an empty premises, but would prefer an alternative use, and hoped Gwynedd Council would consider the number of bookies nearby.
Atmore’s design and access statment said the application would not change the High Street's character.
It added: “The re-occupation of this prominent unit would also help to maintain confidence in the high street.”