East Lothian Courier

Fears alcohol licence brings ‘outsiders’ to ‘dark village’

Cafe granted extended licence despite opposition from some residents

- By Marie Sharp Local Democracy Reporting Service

A VILLAGE cafe has been given the go-ahead to serve alcohol, despite concerns from residents that it would ruin the community’s “dark sky” reputation and encourage “outsiders” to visit.

In total, 17 objections to Tyninghame Country Store being given a licence to serve alcohol until 10pm were lodged with East Lothian Council’s licensing board.

Among concerns raised were the impact on the village’s “dark sky”, which has no street lights or light pollution; fears that local residents would move away; and concerns it would encourage a new clientele to the small village.

One objector argued that the traditiona­l lack of street lighting in the village would make it a target for criminals.

They said: “A licensed premises with alcohol stored is a very attractive target for the unscrupulo­us. I would be concerned that, as we are a dark village, criminals might see

The extension of hours would encourage outsiders to stay around the village for longer and could result in crime

it as an easy target.”

Another added: “Tyninghame is a low or non-crime area.

“This is because there is no reason for non-residents to come to the village after 4pm unless visiting friends, family or attending an event at the village hall.

“The extension of hours the cafe has applied for would encourage outsiders to be at and stay around the village longer, potentiall­y drinking, and could result in crime and disorder.”

The licensing board was asked to approve an alcohol licence for the cafe, which would allow it to serve drink until 10pm; however, David Wakefield, boss of the premises, told the board that he had “no intention” of operating beyond the cafe’s

current closing time of 5pm.

He said that the full licence had been applied for to allow for any occasional event but no events were planned; he offered to have a reduced hours licence imposed.

Dunpender Community Council, which covers the village, also asked for the licensing hours to be restricted to 5pm.

However, board members granted the full licence to allow alcohol to

be served until 10pm, saying they trusted Mr Wakefield’s assurances that it would not be needed.

Councillor Lachlan Bruce, board convenor, said: “I note from Mr Wakefield that he does not intend to operate beyond the cafe closing time of 5pm and that is what the board expects to happen.

“We have no reason to suspect it won’t, we fully trust Mr Wakefield and won’t restrict the licence hours.”

 ?? ?? Tyninghame Country Store has been granted an alcohol licence. Image: Google Maps
Tyninghame Country Store has been granted an alcohol licence. Image: Google Maps

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