Ocean Terminal’s rave licence curtailed by Edinburgh councillors

Ocean Terminal. Picture: Scott Louden
Ocean Terminal. Picture: Scott Louden
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Plans to hold rave nights at Ocean Terminal have been curtailed by the city’s licensing board after police concerns and fears over enforcement.

Promoters TV17 wanted to use the premises at the shopping centre to host nightclub events for up to 1,000 people. But councillors rejected an application for the whole premises to be used – meaning the nightclub events will be contained to Mr Nick’s Greek Kitchen.

Around a dozen music events were held at Ocean Terminal in 2009 and 2010 including performances from top DJs, including Radio One’s Annie Mac. The premises at Ocean Terminal already have a licence to be open until 3am on Friday and Saturdays.

Only six events will be allowed to take place a year after councillors narrowly voted in favour to reject the application.

Police Scotland had raised concerns about how effectively Mr Nick’s Greek Kitchen, along with other premises at Ocean Terminal, could be coordinated for larger scale events – due to the capacity rising from 500 to 1,000. Officers also had concerns about potential nuisance to neighbouring residential properties, following dispersal of large numbers of people attending events at Ocean Terminal in the early hours of the morning.

Alistair Macdonald, representing the applicant, suggested applications could be made for public entertainment licences for each event – but councillors rejected the call, believing two competing licensing regimes could not be managed.

Mr Macdonald said: “There are concerns that have been expressed in terms of capacity. The application has been amended so there’s no increase in capacity.

“Although it’s not required, we agreed to apply for public entertainment licences for these events. We have agreed to limit these events to six in a calendar year.

“The concerns the police have will be addressed as part of the public entertainment license procedure. I think that’s the only way this can be dealt with. The premises have the right to hold these events.”

Cllr Cathy Fullerton who sits on both the licensing board and the city council’s Licensing Sub-Committee, was not convinced by the proposals.

She said: “We cannot run two systems and and have a happy house. I don’t accept this application to be competent.

“I think being able to run a public entertainment licence is not competent to me.”

Cllr Joanna Mowat echoed Cllr Fullerton’s views.

She said: “One of my concerns is the enforceability of the condition.

“I don’t think that the application for the alternative license is a good solution. That’s something that is out with our control.”

But the plans did gain the backing of some councillors.

Cllr Gillian Gloyer said: “My concerns were about noise emanating from the event. There were the possibility of drugs being left in the toilets and being found by children the next day.

“There would be notice of the events and good information.  If it doesn’t happen the first time, it won’t happen again.  I’m inclined to support it.”

Cllr Callum Laidlaw added: “I’m inclined to support ot based on the condition that we can enforce it.

“The centre manager supports it. If the first event is problematic, we can have the option to revoke that license and I would be happy to support it.”

Councillors voted four in favour and four against the application with licensing board convener Cllr Norman Work casting the deciding vote to refuse the application.

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