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UK Casino Plans to be Decided by Public

18 Feb 2005

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by the Scotsman: "Plans to bulldoze a bingo hall to make way for a new canal-side leisure complex are set to be decided at a public inquiry.

"Rank Group, operators of the Mecca bingo hall in Fountainbridge - once the home of the famous Palais de Danse dance hall - have confirmed plans to relocate to the nearby Fountainpark complex.

"But the company's proposals to erect a two-storey building on the site for a leisure complex have fallen foul of community leaders and city planning officials.

"The site of the bingo hall is on a key parcel of land in a major city centre regeneration area and sits directly next to Edinburgh Quay - the new waterfront office, residential and leisure development.

"…But locals fear they may end up with more drunken behaviour to contend with, while the council's planning experts believe the firm's plans represent a huge missed opportunity for the site.

"Rank has triggered a public inquiry by lodging an appeal with the Scottish Executive saying that the council has taken too long to rule on its planning application.

"…The city's planning officials have already voiced their opposition to the development, which would see the new leisure facility created on two floors, four retail units built facing on to the canal at the Lochrin basin, and a 106-space underground car park. Councillors will next week be asked to confirm the authority's stance against the planning application, which was lodged in August, 2003…"

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