No special hours extensions to celebrate royal wedding

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LICENSED premises in the Borders will not be given blanket consent to stay open until 1am to allow their customers to celebrate the forthcoming royal wedding, writes Andrew Keddie.

Instead, publicans and hoteliers, who do not already have the late licence in their operating plans, must apply for the extra drinking time to Scottish Borders Licensing Board six weeks before the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday, April 29.

That was the decision of the board which met on Friday and agreed not to exercise its discretion for an across-the-board one-off extension which has already been granted by the Westminster government for all licensed premises in England and Wales. The granting of a special occasional licence in the Borders will cost premises £10 and applications can be made online via the Scottish Borders Council website. Application forms are available at SBC contact centres.

The income will represent a tiny defrayal of the estimated £62,000 which the additional one-off holiday for the wedding, agreed by the council last month, will cost the local authority.

The board also agreed to grant permission to Susan Thorburn, licensee of The Lodge at Carfraemill, to hold a fundraising ceilidh for Marie Curie Cancer Care in the adjoining marquee on May 21.

As reported last week, the bid was opposed by the council’s environmental health department which claimed the noise which had been emitted from live music events in the marquee last year had exceeded the 45-decibel limit imposed by SBC planners.

Consultants for The Lodge proprietor Jim Sutherland questioned the accuracy of that assessment, claiming much of the noise came from passing traffic on the A68, and pointing out a range of mitigating measures had been made to reduce the level of sound emissions.

The board granted an occasional licence for the fundraiser, which will feature a live band and run till midnight, provided “measures are put in place and maintain, in particular acoustic insulation, along with any other reasonable measures to minimise the risk of any unreasonable noise being caused by the event”.

Mr Sutherland’s new application for planning consent for the structure is due to be determined by SBC planning officials later this month.

Meanwhile, the licensing board granted a provisional premises licence to Kenneth and Karen Coltman for their delicatessen and kitchen in the former book shop at 71 High Street in Peebles.

A solicitor for the couple said conversion work was well under way and an early application for a full licence would be made to allow the business to open soon. The shop will trade during the day, with the restaurant open in the evenings.

Two variations were granted: from the Earlston Co-op and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill in Jedburgh to decrease their alcohol sales areas.

The board heard from Ian Tunnah, one of SBC’s two licensing standards officers, that he and the police were currently ensuring that all licensees were aware of mandatory conditions regarding irresponsible drink promotions.

At a later meeting of the Civic Government Licensing Committee, it was agreed that a new taxi rank should be provided in Bath Street, Hawick, to cater for demand generated by the new Sainsbury’s supermarket in Commercial Road and late-night weekend customers leaving the nearby Diesels nightclub.

Members also agreed to allow taxis across the region to tout for business outwith the traditional four zones of Tweeddale, Roxburgh, Berwickshire and Ettrick and Lauderdale.

To do this, operators will have to apply for additional plates which cost £182 per zone.