Jun 23 2011 By Liam Murphy
CONTROVERSIAL plans to open a casino at the heart of one of Wirral’s biggest regeneration schemes have been approved.
The £6m scheme for a 24-hour G Casino, to be operated by Grosvenor in New Brighton’s Marine Point development, was given the green light by Wirral council’s licensing committee.
The meeting at Wallasey town hall yesterday saw Wirral Churches Together, which opposes the project, raise concerns about the effect on the community.
The Reverend Robert Nelson told the committee they were worried about the impact a casino could have on "young people and vulnerable adults in the area".
But he admitted their worries were "alleviated" during a meeting with Grosvenor after hearing about the guidelines the casino would operate under, despite still having some "general concerns".
The casino had applied for a 24-hour gambling licence as well as permission to sell alcohol from 8am to 6am, seven days a week, host entertainment seven days a week for 24 hours and a late-night refreshment licence to 5am.
Joy Hockey, of Wellington Road Conservation Society, raised concerns about possible noise from a smoking terrace, as well as more general disturbance from people leaving the casino late at night.
But Stephen Walsh, representing Grosvenor, said although entertainment would be held in the casino, it would be the likes of tribute acts and would be secondary to gambling.
He said: "It is highly unlikely people will be coming out and causing problems.
"We always aim entertainment at the kind of people who like to go to casinos. No self-respecting teenager would try and get into a G Casino to see this."
Granting the application, committee chairman Cllr Andrew Hodson said Grosvenor should "open lines of communication" with the community to deal with possible complaints.
The Neptune scheme at Marine Point also includes a cinema, a variety of bars and restaurants and a Morrisons supermarket.