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Merkur Slots appeals Stockton Council's decision to restrict opening hours

Merkur Slots has appealed against plans to limit its opening hours.

The venue is located on Stockton High Street and is currently open until midnight, but the company has applied to extend opening hours to 6am.

In its report, the Stockton Council said: “The opening of the premises until 6am would materially increase the level of activity at night, when residents could reasonably expect not to be disturbed.

“Furthermore, if this use were (to) be permitted to remain open throughout the night it would be difficult for the council to resist proposals to extend the opening hours of other uses with a comparable effect and which cumulatively would cause more substantial harm.

“In the opinion of the local planning authority, the extension of the opening hours would result in late night/early morning noise and disturbance which would adversely affect the residential amenities of nearby properties.”

However, this is in a location where few venues are allowed to open past midnight, with only three bars allowed to stay open until 1am on the weekend.

In response,Casino games Merkur Slots said: “The late-night customer base is predominantly late-shift workers looking to relax after shifts.

“Whilst longer hours of operation are sought, it is important to consider that Merkur Slots noise levels are very low and impacts on disturbance to surrounding uses are effectively mitigated and minimal.”

To support its appeal, Merkur Slots initiated an investigation into potential crime and anti-social behaviour concerns.

This was conducted by a licensing and security company headed by a former Metropolitan Police officer, which allegedly found no proof that extending the opening hours would lead to a rise in either.

Stockton Council also defended by the decision by saying that allowing Merkur Slots to stay open for longer would “result in an adverse impact on the character of the immediate surrounding area, when considering the cumulative impact alongside the nearby Admiral Casino which is open 24 hours a day”.

In other company news, Merkur started the new year off by officially dropping the Gauselmann name it previously held.

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