Several Aberdeen bars have been granted permission to open until 3am under a controversial new city licensing policy.
In November, councillors approved the new scheme which means that pubs can remain open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays without offering “significant entertainment”, as was previously required.
However, the nightclub industry has warned that the plan will lead to increased competition for them and risk their future survival.
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Yesterday, councillors on the city’s licensing board met to hear the cases of Brewdog’s Union Street bar, The Spiritualist, Paramount and Triple Kirks who applied to remain open until 3am – the first outlets to apply under the new policy.
During the hearing on the Brewdog application, Tillydrone, Seaton and Old Aberdeen councillor Alex McLellan declared an interest as a shareholder in the firm and excused himself from the meeting.
A local objector to the proposal by the craft beer giant, announced simply as Mr Sinclair, spoke to the committee, voicing fears that by allowing the upstairs of the premises to open later, it would lead to more anti-social behaviour in the area.
He said that the area had become “a haven for drunk people” and that local residents had to “bear the brunt”.
However, lawyer Caroline Louden, representing Brewdog, said that the bottom floor had operated longer hours in the past and that it was now going to be the ground floor.
She dismissed the complaint as not being specific to the Brewdog premises.
Committee member Alan Donnelly said that late night bars and clubs had operated in the area for many years.
The committee approved all the applications unanimously.
A number of conditions are attached to the granting of later opening including the need for door stewards and radio links.