Doors wide open to 3am pub li­cences

Late clos­ing de­ci­sion due

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - BY JON HEBDITCH

Con­tro­ver­sial plans to al­low some Aberdeen pubs to open un­til 3am have moved a step closer.

Coun­cil­lors on the li­cens­ing board met yes­ter­day to dis­cuss the new pol­icy ahead of a fi­nal de­ci­sion next Tues­day.

It would mean pubs would be able to open later on Fri­days and Satur­days if they can meet set cri­te­ria.

The plans, con­tained in the li­cens­ing board’s draft pol­icy state­ment, would re­move the re­quire­ment to pro­vide “sig­nif­i­cant en­ter­tain­ment” – to stay open un­til 3am.

But the idea has come un­der fire from the night­club in­dus­try, amid fears of in­creased com­pe­ti­tion, and the NHS due to con­cerns about the health im­pli­ca­tions.

Venues will be able to ap­ply for dis­pen­sa­tion to sell al­co­hol later for spe­cial events such as the World Cup, boxing fights and Amer­i­can foot­ball.

Yes­ter­day com­mit­tee con­vener Marie Boul­ton said the mar­ket would de­cide how suc­cess­ful firms would be and it wasn’t for the coun­cil to set poli­cies to pro­tect night­clubs.

She was backed by com­mit­tee mem­ber Fred­die John who said there had been a “change of cul­ture”.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Alex McLel­lan added: “I don’t think we should be look­ing to pro­tect any busi­ness when they can fend for them­selves in the mar­ket.”

But com­mit­tee mem­ber Alan Don­nelly said the new pol­icy should look to sup­port night­clubs, es­pe­cially af­ter a move to have them open un­til 4am was de­feated last year.

Tony Cochrane, owner of Aberdeen’s Pri­vate Eyes, Club Trop­i­cana and The Shack late venues said the move would cause se­ri­ous harm and put jobs at risk.

He said: “They’ve put ab­so­lutely no thought into how this will im­pact the night­club sec­tor.

“Aberdeen City Coun­cil should pay at­ten­tion to Glas­gow, where they’ve re­cently al­lowed clubs to stay open un­til 4am to help pro­tect the in­dus­try, which is hugely im­por­tant to both our cities.

“This will cre­ate a price war, where all the clubs will try and un­der­cut the bars and vice-versa.

“We’ve al­ready lost Garage, Baby­lon, Tiger Tiger, Snafu, Ori­gin, the Al­byn, One Di­a­mond Street and oth­ers.”

TOUGH CALL: Club owner Tony Cochrane said the move would cre­ate a price war and put jobs at risk

Rev­ellers in Aberdeen could see bars open un­til 3am

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.