DISMAY has greeted a decision to allow yet another betting shop in Deptford.

Betfred was given the go ahead by a Lewisham Council licensing committee on February 9 for an outlet at the former Halifax on Deptford High Street.

Incredibly, Betfred’s new shop will be the eighth bookmakers on the road.

Campaigners had organised a petition signed by around 700 people and residents had objected on the grounds that the sheer number of betting shops was blocking other shops and services from opening.

The news comes as the government dismissed proposals by Lewisham’s Green party to cap the number of new bookmakers that can be opened on high streets.

News Shopper: The Deptford Arms is also becoming a Paddy Power Ute Michel, a former Green Party councillor who led a campaign against betting shops in the area, said: “We respect people’s right to bet, so this never was a finger-wagging campaign against gambling.

“It is about the devastating effect on the economic health of local shopping parades and neighbourhoods when bookie after bookie lines a street, crowding out other goods and services and eroding the sense of place and community.

“We simply wanted to be able to say enough is enough.”

Campaigners say the Gambling Act, introduced in 2007, has made it easier than ever to open a bookies without considering the level of demand for them.

News Shopper: Doug Elsley, landlord at the John Evelyn, with wife Brenda Fighting against the odds

Last year News shopper reported how bookmakers were wiping out pubs in Deptford.

The Deptford Arms on the high street and the John Evelyn in Evelyn Street are the most recent locals to be converted into branches of Paddy Power.

Former landlord of the John Evelyn Doug Elsley said: “Unfortunately it was inevitable really because these meetings are so restrictive in what you can object to.

“They’re not interested in whether it should be a pub or not.”

Campaigners say the new Betfred will be the sixth bookies within a 150m cluster, and the 11th in the area around the high street.