As part of its updated Statement of Licensing Policy, Edinburgh’s Licensing Board agreed to designate four new ‘localities’ as areas over-provided by licensed premises at its meeting on Monday (26 November).
These localities were listed as:
•The Old Town, Princes Street and Leith Street
•Deans Village (an area including the West End and Haymarket)
•Southside, Canongate and Dumbiedykes.
This extends the street-based area of over-provision previously agreed by the Board, which covered the Grassmarket and Cowgate.
The decision follows a period of in-depth consultation on the Board’s Statement of Licensing Policy with a wide range of groups, including the Edinburgh Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, Police Scotland, NHS Lothian and community and trade representatives. This set out the Assessment of Overprovision, and localities have been identified following detailed consideration of information received during the consultation process.
Amongst other updates made to the Statement of Licensing Policy are the inclusion of a specified final hour for children and young people’s access to licensed premises, measures for increased scrutiny of applications for occasional licences and extended hours for existing premises and the introduction of standard conditions which the Board can apply to occasional licences.
Licensing Board Convener, Councillor Norman Work said: “Our Assessment of Over-provision takes into account a range of evidence and feedback provided during our in-depth consultation with a variety of organisations, health professionals, trade representatives and other interested parties, including a workshop and two days of public hearings.
“By extending the areas of over-provision we have demonstrated our commitment to addressing alcohol-related crime and health problems, as part of our responsibility as Edinburgh’s licensing authority.
“This, alongside the new Statement of Licensing Policy, which has been updated to reflect issues arising since the last review in 2013, will help us to ensure the safety and well-being of the public, while also maintaining Edinburgh’s rich and varied entertainment scene.”
As a result of the Assessment of Over-provision, a presumption will be made against the granting of new premises licences, provisional premises licences and major variations to increase capacity of premises within the designated areas. Each application does still require to be determined on its own merits and applicants can present evidence to rebut the presumption against approval.
The granting of licences to premises such as pubs, restaurants and pop-up bars across the city will also be informed by the newly-approved Statement of Licensing Policy, which includes expanded sections on the monitoring of amplified music, licensed hours and the use of toughened glass in some venues.
The Policy is underpinned by the statutory requirement on the Board to promote the five Licensing objectives set out in the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, which include the prevention of crime and disorder and protection of public health.
View the Statement of Licensing Policy and Assessment of Over-provision online.