The “blight” of pay day lenders and betting operators on Scotland’s high streets will be tackled with stricter planning controls from now on.
The Scottish Parliament has passed new legislation following concerns raised in communities across the country regarding the negative impact such businesses have on town centres.
Anyone changing the use of a premises to a betting shop or providing pay day loan services is now likely to have to apply to their local council. Previously, some shops or services on the high street could easily be changed without any planning permission.
There are currently more than 1000 betting offices and pay day lending premises across Scotland.
Planning minister Kevin Stewart said the move is intended to tackle “a blight” on the country’s high streets and the exploitation of those who can least afford credit.
He added: “We have listened to communities and ultimately we want to avoid the negative impacts on town centre and shopping areas. Increased controls on lending businesses will help prevent more people being driven into poverty, and give planning authorities more control, ensuring that our town centres are attractive places for people to live, work and visit.”