Music promoters are aiming to stage a series of rave-style events at Ocean Terminal - but concerns have been raised that the noise could travel across the Forth and disturb residents as far afield as Fife.
Promoters TV17 have applied for permission to use Ocean Terminal for late-night music and dance events – but councillors have asked for more detailed information after fears were raised over policing, noise, fire safety and toilet provision. Police objected to the license being granted, while councillors were worried about children and young people leaving the cinema at the shopping centre mixing with the dance crowds, and possibly even picking up drugs that might be dropped by accident.
Alistair Macdonald, representing the applicant, said around a dozen music events had taken place at Ocean Terminal in 2009 and 2010, which he described as “completely illegal”. Those events featured performances from top DJs, including Radio One’s Annie Mac – but were organised by a different company to TV17. The premises at Ocean Terminal already have a licence to be open until 3am on Friday and Saturdays.
The new events would take place at Mr Nick’s Greek Kitchen, the former Ocean Bar and Grill, and could also use other parts of the facility – with organisers gaining the backing of Ocean Terminal bosses.
Mr Macdonald added: “This is a space that has been used for events, it is stunning. We are talking about a limit of six events a year. The shopping centre is very supportive.
“It’s not nearly as close to residential areas as other event venues. We would suggest that this is a good place and this was considered to be a quirky and interesting one. It’s a shopping centre and it’s unusual in that respect.
“No residential or commercial operators have complained. Last time, the bars in Leith had a bit of a spin-off with the events.”
Police objected to the suitability of TV17 to organise the Ocean Terminal events after problems encountered at the Terminal V Festival at Ingliston at Easter, where around 20 people arrested over drugs possession were let back into the event. Fears were also raised that the capacity of the premises would be doubled from 500 to 1,000 – while councillors heard that Ocean Terminal could provide additional toilets if required.
Mr Macdonald added: “This is not the same type of event as Ingliston. It cannot be going back to those days. They would look to put bespoke events on.”
But councillors raised a host of other concerns. Cllr Callum Laidlaw said: “Realistically, this is a major electronic dance event. This is effectively a rave.
“I have a concern about how it is going to be managed. Any drugs left behind, children will be there first thing in the morning.”
Cllr Gillian Gloyersaid: “The cinema at weekends stays open further than 11pm. I’m very concerned about the possibility of young people coming out of the cinema, coming down the concourse and mixing with the event. The prospect of creating noise nuisance at Ocean Terminal and across the water of Ocean Terminal across the Forth is quite significant. The noise will carry across the water.”
Cllr Nick Cook said: “I think we should refuse this variation.
“We started with a dog’s breakfast, went through a mixer and we’re left with a bit of a mess.”
Councillors agreed to carry out a site visit and obtain more information relating to fire safety.