BOOKMAKERS William Hill has appealed against Oxford City Council’s refusal to allow a branch to open in Headington’s London Road.

The plans were refused in March after concerns it would affect the character of the area.

Council officers refused planning permission for the shop, which used to be home to Cartridge World, to be turned into a licensed betting office.

This was because a betting shop would reduce the overall proportion of retail units significantly below the 65 per cent threshold set out in the Local Plan, they said.

But William Hill has claimed its proposals would have a beneficial impact on the vitality of London Road because most visitors to the branch would come as part of a shopping trip.

In a statement, the applicant said: “It is known that betting offices attract far more customers than most Class A1 retail uses and other A2 uses and, to that extent, they can be of positive benefit to the vitality, and indeed viability, of shopping areas.”

Headington already has two bookmakers, with Betfred at 126 London Road and Ladbrokes at 103 London Road.

The shop on the corner of Kennett Road has been empty since June 2011 and in November of that year an application by Costa Coffee for the site was turned down for the same reason.