Today, a hearing regarding the application for permission to open a gaming arcade in Cork town is to be held at a District Court, in spite of the opposition of some local residents.
The District Court in the neighbouring town of Fermoy will hear the application of Perk Promotions Mitchelstown Ltd that is seeking a license for establishing and operating a gaming arcade. The objections against the project of “The Concerned Citizens of Mitchelstown” group will also be heard by the Court.
The group, which was formed in opposition to the proposed arcade, is to be led by its chairman Martin Lane. Mr Lane has launched an online petition against the opening of the gaming arcade and managed to collect 1,607 names so far.
Local people raised voices against the establishment of the gambling arcade in the town, saying that approval of such a facility, especially on the town’s main street would make gambling look normal and end up creating anti-social problems. As shared by Mr Lane, “The Concerned Citizens of Mitchelstown” group is set to make submissions against the approval of the required license on the site which bans such licences from being granted to gambling operations in certain parts of the county under a regulation which Cork County Council rolled out 35 years ago.
Previous Attempt for Opening a Fermoy-Based Arcade Fails
The controversial plan set to transform a former pub on Mitchelstown’s Main Street into a gaming arcade was given the nod by An Bord Peanála at the end of 2018.
Previously, Perks Promotions Mitchelstown Ltd filed a planning application in Cork County Council for the establishment of an arcade at the place of what once used to be the Weavers Bar on Cork Street. The company, which is already known as an amusement arcade operator in Midleton and Youghal, had been previously allowed to operate a new facility in Fermoy. Eventually, they decided not to go further with the project, as An Bord Pleanála imposed some restrictions on the opening hours of the venue.
Then, the company unveiled another plan for arcade development at another site in Fermoy. The project, however, also faced fierce opposition from local people and was later rejected by council planners. The decision was appealed by the operator but was later upheld.
Now, a spokesman for Perks Promotions Mitchelstown Ltd defended the project for the Mitchelstown arcade, saying that according to plans, the facility would be similar to the one the company had once hoped to open in Fermoy. The company’s representative further noted that the newly-proposed gaming arcade would follow a strictly enforced admission policy.
The project fuelled controversies, with “The Concerned Citizens of Mitchelstown” filing one of the three submissions against the gaming arcade plan. Still, despite the objections, the council planners gave the nod to the plan under 15 separate conditions for the project, including restricted opening hours, the external appearance of the arcade, site operation, etc.