Northampton hotel owners apply to install gambling machine room after seeing extension bid refused

Owners of Westone Manor have applied to install a gambling machine permit at the venue.
Owners of Westone Manor have applied to install a gambling machine permit at the venue.

Owners of a Northampton hotel who were ordered to pull down an unpopular extension have applied for a gambling licence in order to install 15 betting machines.

Last year the proprietors of Westone Manor Hotel in Fir Tree Walk were given permission to extend the north wing of the former stately home by another floor.

The extension to the building was described as an "industrial eyesore" by some residents living nearby in March.

The extension to the building was described as an "industrial eyesore" by some residents living nearby in March.

But residents lodged a 112-name petition against it and, in March, Northampton Borough Council ruled the finished structure should be taken down after it appeared two floors were added.

Next week the owners will have to argue their case for a gaming machine permit at the venue, once classed as one of the best in Northampton.

Northampton Borough Council's licensing committee is set to make the decision whether to grant plans for a locked gaming room and a further four machines on Monday.

The application by company director Heema Chanroo reads: "Nobody under 18 would be allowed to gain entry to the gaming room.

"We will report any suspected criminal activity or person behaving in a suspicious manner."

The application is for 11 category C machines, with a cash prize of up to £100, to be installed in a room to the rear of the hotel's ground floor protected by a security code.

The remaining four category D machines, which have far lower stakes and can be played by under 18s, will be placed next to the pool tables in the games room next to it.

The application states that guests at the hotel are "principally adult", 70 per cent of which, it says, are from the building trade.

The licensing committee hearing will take place at the Guildhall on Monday, July 23, at 6pm.

Owner Harry Sookun launched an appeal against the council's decision to disallow the metallic roof extension in May.