McLarens, a Signature Pubs bar and restaurant at Holy Corner, Bruntsfield have submitted an application to extend their licensing hours to 1.00 am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The Merchiston Community Council object most strongly to this application and urge the community to also back this rejection by submitting an objection to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday the 9th January.
The reference number is 423384.
Here is our objection letter:
Along with other local organisations and individuals we spoke at the meeting of the Licensing Board on 28/1/19 and was pleased that the Board decided at that meeting not to grant the very long hours originally applied for by Signature Pubs. The hours granted at that meeting (namely 11:00 – 00:00 seven days a week) represented a compromise between what had originally been applied for (namely 09:00 – 01:00 Monday – Saturday and 11:00 – 01:00 on Sundays) and what objectors wanted (namely 11:00– 23:00 Monday – Saturday and 12 noon – 22:00 pm on Sundays). ,
The core arguments put forward by Merchiston Community Council and other objectors remain unchanged. They are in summary as follows:
1. Holy Corner, where the pub is located, is in a quiet part of suburban Bruntsfield, with residential, church and care home properties round about.
2. MCC has had painful experience in the case of other licensed premises in our area of noise disturbance extending well beyond the terminal hour of the licence. Given that there is no parking provision at the new pub, cars will have to be parked in neighbouring streets (where, incidentally, there is already huge pressure on space), whose residents will not welcome the noise of pub customers making their way along their streets in the wee small hours, possibly as late as 02:00 if this totally inappropriate extension were to be granted. Taxis will have to draw up in nearby streets, where engines revving and vehicle doors banging will constitute an additional kind of disturbance to residents. Again, potentially as late as 02:00. Neighbours also worry about noise disturbance as outdoor seating/serving areas are cleared.
3. Signature Pubs claimed in January (and this is noted in the Licensing Board’s record) that they needed the long hours for their business to be viable. If the difference between their business being non-viable and viable hinges on a one-hour extension on three nights a week, we must assume that they expect to sell a significant amount of alcohol during these extra hours, which will only exacerbate the problems outlined in 2. above.
4.. Signature Pubs tell us that a principal target market is families. How on earth does an extension to 01.00 contribute to this ? We quote from the CEC Licensing Policy “The Board is very aware of the risk of harm to children and young person’s health and this will be of paramount consideration when determining applications”.
5. Once again, the application notice was posted during the Christmas/New Year holiday period, when many local residents may have been away and others distracted. Merchiston Community Council has received no communication from Signature Pubs about the reasons for this application.
In conclusion, we see no reason for the Board to change its mind. A very full discussion took place at the January meeting, with both sides of the argument well represented.
Signature Pubs also talked about the new premises being a community resource. Local residents cannot understand why the small metal gate which would have allowed the Right of Way which they had been led to expect across the front of the building is always locked. Local residents also tell us they are dismayed to see blocks of wooden fencing in the forecourt, and umbrellas with heaters as well as, most recently, a tall black structure which looks as though it may be an outdoor servery of some kind which, if this proves to be the case, will give rise to noise disturbance on a new scale and which would be simply intolerable in the wee small hours. The cluttered forecourt which now exists is very different from the drawings presented to the Board last January. We appreciate that these are not licensing issues per se but we mention them as examples of Signature Pubs’ evident disregard for its neighbours and the local community. We feel that their request for an extension of licensing hours until 01.00 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays is yet another example of this disregard.
The solicitor representing Signature Pubs in 2019 was Caroline Loudon of TLT Solicitors. We read on the TLT Find a Lawyer website that she is known in the market for being the “winner of unwinnable licences”. It is our view that this application should be, and should remain, designated as unwinnable from the point of view of its complete unsuitability. And accordingly we look to the members of the Licensing Board to refuse it.
The Merchiston Community Council therefore urge the community to take a look into this application quickly as the deadline is Thursday 9th January.