Edinburgh councillors approve alcohol sales for Painted Rooster cafe despite West End urinating and vomiting complaints

Councillors have given the thumbs-up for a West End cafe to sell alcohol despite objections from a local resident over anti-social behaviour.

Monday, 26th August 2019, 4:40 pm
The Painted Rooster. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

The Edinburgh Licensing Board approved an application for the Painted Rooster on Melville Terrace to sell alcohol to customers after initially putting the proposals on hold for police to draw up an anti-social behaviour report.

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Painted Rooster cafe's alcohol bid on hold after West End urinating and vomiting...

The move came after a resident complained to the board last month about “out of hand” drunkenness in the Capital’s West End.

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The Painted Rooster. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

Resident Ian Woollen added: “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.

“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.”

Police said that the location of the Painted Rooster was ranked second out of 101 zones across Edinburgh for “alcohol-related crimes and health harm” and is in one of the licensing board’s new areas of over-provision. In areas of over-provision of alcohol, applicants must make the case that the default position to refused permission can be brushed aside.

The board heard that only two incidents of anti-social behaviour were recorded in the immediate area during the last 12 months – one was a minor assault and the other was an act of vandalism.

The cafe/restaurant has a maximum capacity of 39 people and previously operated a ‘bring your own bottle’ policy.

Alistair Macdonald, representing the business, said: “It’s a small cafe/restaurant on Melville Terrace. It does breakfasts and opens throughout the day doing lunches, snacks and cakes.

“They would like to do a little bit more serious meals – they would like to increase that side of the business. They have BYOB – it’s not as if no alcohol is being consumed on the premises.”

He added: “A licence is a privilege and it comes with responsibilities.

“This is highly unlikely to be a catalyst for the type of issues that were raised. It’s clear that the vast majority, well over 90 per cent are mainly in the bit towards Queensferry Street and the Princes Street End, which you would expect.

“This is a responsible operator and he does not want to cause neighbours any issue. There is a pub next-door and a few down the street and there’s no aspiration to become a pub and compete with them – it’s a restaurant.”

Licensing officers demanded that music at the premises must cause “no audible nuisance” to neighbours.

Councillors unanimously approved the application, having gone on a site visit to see the premises for themselves.

Cllr David Key said: “It was a lovely little cafe. I don’t see it being a catalyst for late-night behaviour.

“The objector’s address is quite some distance from the venue.”

Cllr Steve Burgess added: “This is in one of our areas of over-provision. However, the nature of the application is not going to add to that.

“It’s a cafe/restaurant so I have no problem with it.”