COUNCILLORS have panned efforts to convert a town centre shop into a bingo hall and tanning salon.

An application had been made by Mirage Property Services to change the use of an empty Regent Street shop into a “bingo premises” with gaming machines, with a first-floor tanning parlour.

The address on 21 Regent Street sits between Poundworld and the former Phones4U shop. A succession of temporary traders have set up shop in the building since 2012.

At a meeting of South Swindon Parish Council on Tuesday evening, councillors objected to the plans – saying that it would not be in keeping with the area.

They had stern words for the thought of another gambling shop coming to pedestrianised Regent Street and Bridge Street – which already host two Ladbrokes bookmakers, William Hill and Paddy Power.

Coun Neil Hopkins said: “I have a concern around gaming machines. I don’t think in the current environment we should be encouraging any more of them.”

Forward Swindon, the council-owned company aimed at regenerating Swindon’s town centre, have already objected to the application – which they say would result in the loss of an “A1” unit in Swindon’s primary shopping area.

Trudy Godfrey, development project manager at Forward Swindon, said: “Swindon town centre has a higher than average level of vacant units and Swindon Borough Council/Forward Swindon and InSwindon are working jointly on a project to encourage more independent businesses into the town centre.

“This application will make it harder to achieve this positive outcome.”