A Lauder hotel has been granted an occasional licence to set up an outside beer tent and gin bar for the town’s common riding on Saturday, August 5, despite opposition from the police.
The bid by the Lauderdale Hotel to serve booze in its back garden from 10am till 10pm sparked an objection by the police as they fear it has the potential to generate drunken disorder, creating extra work for them.
Police Scotland Chief Constable Phil Gormley told last Friday’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s licensing board: “Historically, Lauder has had issues with alcohol-related disorder during its common riding, resulting in a significant commitment of resources into the early hours.
“Any application to increase the amount of alcohol is a concern.
“The Lauderdale Hotel is already a gathering point and is busy, front and back, throughout the day with people who have clearly been drinking spilling onto the A68 main trunk route.
“There have also been some issues last year with smashed bottles in the town. The concern is that this would increase if there was an external beer tent.”
However, the board of councillors agreed to grant the licence to Moira Ainslie, secretary and director of the Edinburgh Road hotel after being given assurances that appropriate stewarding would be in place throughout the day.
At the same meeting, the board also granted a premises licence to a new restaurant in Peebles despite three objections from neighbours.
The on-sales permit will allow Rashed Ahmed to serve alcohol from 11am until midnight seven days a week at the Panna Restaurant, in Northgate.
Neighbours claimed that would result in late-night noise and disturbance in a part of town already home to the highest concentration of licensed premises in the Borders.
However, the application triggered no objections from either the police or the board’s licensing standards officer, Ian Tunnah.
Nationwide pub chain JD Wetherspoon was also granted variations of licence conditions at its Bourtree and Hunters Hall pubs in Bourtree Place, Hawick, and High Street, Galashiels.
That variation will allow unaccompanied young people aged 16 or 17 to access their bar areas to order food or buy non-alcoholic drinks.