Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Booze blitz scuppers 10m hotel plan

Published:  23 July, 2008

Scotland: Plans to build a five-star hotel have been thrown into doubt after its backers were refused an alcohol licence due to a city's crackdown on binge drinking.

Lawyers for the company had argued at a licensing board meeting that the hotel should be exempted from the ban on two grounds; firstly, that it was on the fringes of the Grassmarket and Cowgate, and secondly that it was a luxury hotel rather than a pub or nightclub.

But acting board chairman Alastair Paisley said: "If this hotel had been in Bruntsfield, there would be no problem with granting a license, but the Cowgate and Grassmarket are sensitive areas that see a lot of problems from drunken people.

"We have set a policy on this and we have to stick to it."

All three projects have been invited to reapply for licences in January, after the new Scottish Licensing Act 2005 comes into effect.

The new law will force the council to draw up a new version of its current ban on new licences. It could also give it more powers to close down pubs and clubs which cause problems. This could open the door to new licences, as the board is currently operating a "one in, one out" policy in the area.