Councillors voice opposition towards planned bookie’s at Cloughfern

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Opposition towards a proposed bookmakers shop was mounting in January 1967.

Planning permission for the betting office, which was to be situated in Cloughfern, had been granted at a council meeting in December 1966.

Since permission had been given, 700 people had signed a protest petition organised by the Cloughfern Ratepayers’ Association.

Six Labour councillors forced a special meeting of Newtownabbey Urban Council to review the planning permission decision.

The councillors, who had voted against the permission being granted in December 1966, were expecting a large turnout of ratepayers to lobby the meeting.

Cllr R Johnston said: “This is a residential area and the wrong place for a bookie’s shop.”

Belfast bookmaker, Mr Kevin Prenter, proposed to convert a private house at the corner of Doagh Road and Hillview Avenue into a betting office.

One resident said : “No one around here wants the shop. It’s the type of crowd that gathers round a bookie’s office.

“I don’t want my children to grow up with people standing on the corner spitting and cursing.”