A licensee has denied her application to open up the ground floor of her Hawick function suite was an attempt to turn it into a nightclub.
Michelle Walsh’s bid to allow the lower level of the Bridge Function Rooms to be used as a bar and include a DJ box for alcohol-free under-18 discos was thrown out by the Scottish Borders Licensing Board last Friday.
Members were told of complaints from a number of neighbours who believe the facility would become a regular late night venue and cause disturbances for households.
And in an objection letter, Inspector John Scott noted officers had attended the suite twice in May due to drunk revellers causing noise outside following a DJ set.
But Ms Walsh, who transformed the former bingo hall into a function suite in December, told us: “We had a couple of DJ nights and had a big volume of people coming out at the one time and that prompted a few complaints, but that would happen anywhere.
“We never had any intention of running the place as a nightclub, we just wanted to have a different theme downstairs to host events such as birthday parties.
“The disappointing thing is we had fitted out the downstairs but now it cannot be used. We will have to think about what we do next. The under-18 discos would only have been held four times in the year and would have given the children something to look forward to. It is a real shame as there is nowhere for the youngsters to go.
“We have just tried to bring an empty building back into use.”
One of the incidents included in Inspector Scott’s report was from the early hours of May 5 when smokers were obstructing traffic outside the front of the building.
But Ms Walsh, who will continue to operate an upstairs suite, replied: “We had an area at the back of the building, but were told by the licensing board we couldn’t do that so we had to make it out the front.”