Christmas always has an effect on me – like what day is it? But throw a global pandemic into the mix and I don’t even know what year it is let alone day! Last I heard there were 4 tiers – then 5, but we expect there to be plenty more tears if the rumours I’m reading are true! A popular bingo hall in Bristol has hit the headlines with locals now fearing for its future. Due to the current guidelines, the Buzz Bingo hall in Fishponds is currently closed, but rumours are circulating that the doors on this venue could stay closed for good!
Planning applications have been submitted to Bristol County Council on behalf of Buzz Bingo’s owners, to demolish the bingo venue to make way for a supermarket or DIY shop. Planning consultant Andrew Beard, writing to the council (for operators L’Hyveuse LP), said the “entertainment economic market is subject to significant uncertainty.“
That may be true, but it still isn’t going down too well…
…with the locals! Could you imagine – your favourite place to play bingo (and gaming terminals) is on temporarily closed and you’ve plans to revisit once current measures are eased, only to find out through the media that the owners of the building are planning to transform it into ‘another’ supermarket! Sainsbury’s, two different Iceland stores, Lidl, Morrison’s, Aldi, Nisa Today’s and Tesco Express are among the many other supermarkets already situated in the area!
It’s in the Detail:
Beard continues: “The size of unit would ideally lend itself to a further food store or a DIY unit. Additional DIY facilities would aid the draw directly within the centre. The current market uncertainty over entertainment in the light of Covid-19, the pandemic and the recession, means that it is preferable to have an alternate permission in place for a retail town centre use, should the unit become vacant.” But it isn’t vacant!
Among the lines and lines of text within the planning application, it does point out one very important thing – that there is “no existing prospective operator” earmarked for takeover, but it’s short and sweet and covered almost entirely with paragraphs of hard-selling! “A vacant unit would harm the vitality and viability of the town centre, which is currently strong with high occupancy, numerous national chains, and range of associated services.” Plus “The unit already has a retail style glazed entrance.”
There have been two letters of objection sent to the council and one letter in favour of the plans, but we expect more locals to voice their objections in the coming weeks. Where will Bristol bingo players go to play bingo should Buzz Bingo close its doors for good? There’s just the one option – Club 3000 Bingo!
Source: “Plans for Bristol Bingo Hall to be Turned into Supermarket”. Bristol Post. December 29, 2020.