MORAY COUNCIL PLANNERS will be required to adhere to new rules being set by the Scottish Government in relation to applications from bookmakers and payday lenders.
Concerns around the country has led to legislation at the Scottish Parliament aimed at reducing the “negative impact” betting shops and payday lenders have on town centres.
Last week new legislation was placed at Holyrood aimed at recognising and acting on those concerns, and will mean anyone intending to change the use of a premises to a betting shop or providing payday loan services is now likely to have to apply to their local planning authority for permission.
Previously, some shops or services on the high street could easily be transformed into betting offices without needing any planning permission.
Planning minister Kevin Stewart said: “We are taking a strong stance against payday loan companies and problem gambling, which are not only a blight on our high streets but exploit people to finance credit they just cannot afford.
“We have listened to communities and ultimately, we want to avoid the negative impacts on town centre and shopping areas, many of which are overwhelmed by pay day lenders and betting premises in their area.
“Increased controls on new pay day lending businesses will help prevent more people being driven into poverty, and give planning authorities more control over ensuring our town centres are attractive places for people to live, work and visit.”