Split Bruntsfield community row over Holy Corner pub's late opening bid

McLarens on the Corner in Brunstfield has been granted an extended late night licence three days a week - despite a row erupting.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 7:37 pm
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 7:40 pm
McLarens on the Corner in Brunstfield

A row erupted as a new pub was told it can stay open for an extra hour three days a week as objectors squared off off against supporters over a Holy Corner business.

The Edinburgh Licensing Board approved permission for McLarens on the Corner, owned by Signature Pubs, to be allowed to open until 1am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday despite a host of fears raised by concerned residents.

Last year, the Morningside Road business saw its plea to be open until 1am every day curbed until midnight following a backlash from residents. But the three-day compromise by the pub was approved by councillors after 84 people came forward to pledge their support for the plans – with 37 people protesting.

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Shorter hours for proposed Holy Corner pub over noise fears

Bridget Stevens from Merchiston Community Council, told the board that the applicants were “really pushing it” with their latest application.

She added: “Merchiston Community Council considers there’s no need to change the decision it made this time last year when they put in for 1am and this was refused.

“Holy Corner is in a quiet part of suburban Bruntsfield. This is not somewhere you would expect to find a large licensed premises of around 300 covers operating late at night.

“Drinking up time can go on for quite a while. We have reports of McLarens customers making a great deal of noise as they exit the premises late at night. Departing customers have been observed hanging around there late at night.”

Helen Zealley claimed that people have bee “relieving themselves in our garden”.

She added: “It’s very noticeable in the summer months and I can see what’s happening. I object strongly to this application.”

But supporters spoke out in favour of the pub being open for an extra hour three nights a week.

Colin Kidd labelled the pub, which has been open since December, as a “tremendous boost to the local economy” and said the additional hours “would be merited and welcome”.

Martin Robertson added: “This is not a rowdy pub – it’s a really lovely place. I think it’s good for the community to have a local place to go rather than having to go to George Street or the Grassmarket

“I have not heard any disruption at all – there’s been no negative impact at all.”

Robert Skinner, representing McLarens told the board his client was proposing a “modest extension” to a business that has “proven to be very popular with locals”.

He added: “This is not what’s known as a vertical drinking establishment. There will be no mass exodus at 1am.

“The letters of support outnumber the number of objections by two to one. There’s no evidence whatsoever that supports a refusal.”

Cllr Callum Laidlaw initially proposed a compromise which would allow the extra hour on a Friday and Saturday, but Caroline Louden, also representing the pub, said the three-day application “is our compromise” after losing its case for a seven-day 1am licence last year.

Convener of the licensing board, Cllr Norman Work, said: “I think most of the concerns the board members have is it’s not been trading long enough to have a clear views.

“We have come to the conclusion and that on this application, we will grant the hours that are sought. We do take on board the concerns of the residents.

“If there are any issues, we hope they are reported to the licensing standards officers of the police. It was a difficult decision for the board to make but I think we have taken the right decision, taking on board all the views.”