Scotland - Edinburgh adopt new licensing policy

30 Nov

At Monday’s Board (26th November) the Edinburgh City Licensing Board formerly adopted their new statement of licensing policy for the next 3 years.

Included within the new policy is an increase to the over provision policy.  In addition to the existing policy in place for the Grassmarket and Cowgate the Board also designated the following areas as over-provided with ….:

  • The Old Town, Princes Street and Leith Street
  • Tollcross
  • Deans Village
  • Southside, Canongate and Dumbiedykes.

The effect of the Board’s policy, in terms of the statutory guidance, is to create a rebuttable presumption against the grant of new premises licences, provisional premises licences and major variations to increase capacity of premises in these localities.

Although hotel and restaurant Operators were previously distinguished in earlier over-provision policies, this is no longer the case.  Instead the Board have chosen to highlight particular  descriptions of premises with which they have a ‘particular concern’ such as premises  which are used primarily for the sale and consumption of alcohol and provide little or no seating for patrons. The Board defines these as premises with a capacity for 200 or more patrons.

The Board also restate their concern at the high number of existing off-sales premises in these areas.

Each application still requires to be determined on its own merits and it remains open to applicants and licence holders to present applications for consideration on their merits, providing evidence in support of their applications, to rebut this presumption against grant.

Relevant factors which may be considered by the Board include applications which fill a gap in existing service provision, or are considered to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.  This reference to visitors may be of comfort to hotel Operators.

The Board have also included within their new statement of licensing policy a policy on access by children and young persons to licensed premises.  The policy again highlights that each application will be considered on its individual merits, the Board have included an indicative terminal hours for children and young persons’ access to licensed premises will be as follows :-

Children (aged 0 to 16 years)

  • 11pm
  • 1am when attending a private function on the premises and accompanied by an adult

Young Persons (aged 16 or 17)

  • 1am
Law correct at the date of publication.
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