A betting shop operator has hit back at campaigners who protested against plans to turn a pub into a bookmaker's.

Paddy Power has submitted a planning application to Haringey Borough Council to turn the Sugar Cane pub, in Lordship Lane, Wood Green, into the area’s third betting shop.

Tottenham MP David Lammy met almost 30 residents and councillors outside the site to protest the move on Friday, March 14.

Mr Lammy and residents expressed concern about rising levels of anti-social behaviour in Lordship Lane, which some believe is linked to the recent proliferation of betting shops.

However, a spokesman for Paddy Power has dismissed the claims and said the company was creating jobs in the area.

He said: “Paddy Power is a responsible operator that takes proactive measures to offer a safe, responsible and enjoyable leisure experience for its customers and the community.

“Opening a new Paddy Power shop is a major local investment – we are investing more than £300,000 into this site which will create five new job opportunities and bring back to life a location that has been unoccupied for months.”

The protest comes amid calls for the Government to grant greater powers to local councils to restrict the number of betting shops on their high streets.

At present bookmakers do not need planning permission to open in premises that were previously used for financial purposes, such as banks or building societies.

New legislation will come into effect in May, making it possible for betting shops to open in an even wider range of premises without planning permission.

Paddy Power’s spokesman added: “Our research shows that we bring additional footfall to other retailers in the areas we operate in.

“So at a time when the UK high street is facing unprecedented challenges due to the economic downturn and the emergence of out of town shopping centres we believe we can make a positive contribution to local communities like Haringey.”

Any representations concerning the introduction of a Paddy Power betting shop to Lordship Lane must be made to Haringey Council’s licensing team by March 24.