Parents hit out at plans to revive pub’s 7am licence

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A BID to re-open a closed-down pub with a 7am licence has sparked fears children will have to walk past a growing number of drinkers on the way to school.

The new owners of the Central Bar in Portobello’s High Street have applied to the council for the early morning opening from Monday to 

Another pub just a short distance away, the Portobello Bar, already has a 7am licence.

The move to create another has been attacked by some 
parents who are set to 
lodge formal objections to the plans.

Bob Jefferson, a Portobello resident and campaigner, said: “If this goes ahead, it’s 
going to be a step back for Portobello.

“Most parents would be concerned about it, I should think, because by the time kids go to school you’re going to have people standing around there who have been drinking for two hours.”

Portobello Councillor Maureen Child, who has also objected, said: “I don’t know what kind of market it is that they are trying to appeal to.

“Cutting the hours back at night might help the people who live next door and have to listen to karaoke but it does seem to be causing anxiety for those worried about their children going to school.

“Anxiety seems to stem for the experiences people have had in the past couple of years – the past two licensees have lost their licences on the basis that the bar had been causing problems for residents.

“But it will be under new management now so perhaps this will be different.”

Councillor Child added: “It seems that with this application they are going for serious early morning drinkers and I don’t think this is the sort of message we ought to be sending out to children.”

Edinburgh’s licensing hours policy was changed three years ago meaning the number of early opening premises reduced.

New licensing laws came into force which meant that pubs cannot open for more than 16 hours a day, so those which choose to open early in the morning now have to close earlier in the evening.

At the time, there were fears it would affect shift workers who enjoyed a drink at the end of their working day, but many bars have continued to cater for the early morning trade.

The Central Bar’s application is set to be considered by councillors on Edinburgh’s Licensing Board at a meeting on Monday, August 27.

The new owners of the pub, Breken Inns (No.2), could not be contacted for comment ahead of the decision.