Sunday, 25 May 2008

The Gambling Den

Continuing our stroll down the High Street, we come next to this very sorrowful looking building. We know it as the Gambling Den because its last incarnation was as an amusement arcade. The shop has been empty for a while now; I'm no good at keeping track of time but I would guess a couple of years. Jim thinks that before that it was a bookies, but I honestly can't remember. Funnily enough though, in the next shop down - also currently empty - the windows are filled with photos from OurNewhaven, the website which is collecting photos and stories about the town, and one of the photos was of this building. I really would have liked to put a link in to it but I can't find it on the site - it may be that they haven't uploaded it yet.

Anyway, it told me that the building in question was build in the 1920s to house the town's first dedicated optician, a Mr Gray. Previously glasses had been sold by the chemists, who also extracted teeth.

It looks as if this building - which is detached - is going to be demolished. A planning application to replace it with a block of five flats has been warmly received by the Town Council. The Town Council - of which more later - has no actual authority over planning matters, but makes recommendations to Lewes District Council, which is the planning authority. I cannot see there being any opposition to the building going though; there might however be reservations about the loss of a shop (well, there always were when I was on the Council), and perhaps more importantly, about parking - although there may be space at the back.

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