A cafe’s bid to sell alcohol to customers has been put on hold after a resident complained about “out of hand” drunkenness in the Capital’s West End.
Bosses at the Painted Rooster applied to the Edinburgh Licensing Board for permission to sell beer and wine to customers – but councillors have asked police to draw up a detailed report on anti-social drunken behaviour before deciding whether to give plans the green light.
Sergeant John Young from Police Scotland pointed out to the board that the Melville Place cafe is in an areas of over-provision of alcohol and raised concerns about the delivery of alcohol to the premises.
In an area of over-provision of alcohol, the board will make a presumption against granting licence applications unless applicants can make a case for it to be given permission.
Licensing officers said outdoor drinking would need to finish by 10pm while building standards said the premises would be restricted to a capacity of 39.
But local resident Ian Woollen told councillors that neighbours were at the end of their tether with drunken behaviour on the streets.
He said: “We have experienced a certain level of crime and there was a stabbing recently. We have had our door and lock broken and we have had someone try to break into the shops nearby.
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“There’s enough alcohol out there – we don’t really want anymore. I can tell you about the urination and vomiting and the excessive amount of cigarette butts left everywhere and the drunkenness in the street until 4am or 5am.
“We have guys in the street kicking the hell out of the bus stops, upset because they have missed the last bus of the night.”
He added: “Our cars have been vandalised and we cannot park outside out flats. Residents are getting fed up with the environment – we just don’t want to see more alcohol.
“I would love to eat at the cafe and I would love to drink his smoothies, but we don’t want more alcohol on the street. Some of these guys and guys just lose it – it’s getting out of hand. We feel very strongly about this.”
But Alistair Macdonald, representing the cafe, said any anti-social behaviour problems were not as a result of the business – which currently allows customers to bring their own alcohol to consume on the premises.
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He said: “At the moment, they do BYOB. This is not a case of introducing the consumption of alcohol, this is about regulating the sale of alcohol in these premises.
“They want to be able to sell a glass of wine or beer with their meals – it is a small restaurant.
“There’s not a suggestion that he’s the source of any of these concerns. There are bars and a nightclub in this area. A lot of the comments made are late-night issues and nothing to do with these premises.I think it would be unfortunate if these premises were tainted with what’s going on in the area.”
The licensing board called for more information from police before determining the application.
Cllr Joanna Mowat said: “It would be helpful to have the more detailed police report on what has been happening in this vicinity.
“I would be happier to have that before we discuss this further. Given this is an area of over-provision, we should not be taking that decision without that additional information.”