An Oldmeldrum publican believes others in the trade are “wasting their time” applying for a 2am drinks licence after a failed bid by his own premises.
Robin Philip, owner of Morris’s Hotel, was unsuccessful in his application for an extra hour on a Friday and Saturday for his public bar in a bid to boost dwindling trade.
Difficult trading times in an economic climate hampered by increases in business rates and operating costs had prompted his application to extend weekend drinking times.
However Aberdeenshire Central Licensing Board stuck to its policies which limits pubs and hotels to a 1am licence but which offers nightclubs 2am licences Sunday to Thursday and 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
The board had earlier heard objections to the later opening element of the application from Sgt Kim Wood on behalf of Police Scotland who said there was clear evidence that the longer and later on-sales licensed premises operate, the “higher the likelihood of incidents of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour occurring”.
But the Oldmeldrum publican stressed he had not experienced trouble in the 18 years he has run his business.
He said the public bar only held 32 patrons who merely wanted to enjoy a slightly longer night out on a Saturday.
Mr Philip said the crime figures presented by the police were for Ellon and Inverurie and had no bearing on Oldmeldrum.
A motion by Cllr Marion Ewenson to approve elements of the application, including an outdoor drinking area, with the exception of the 2am Friday and Saturday extension, was unanimously approved.