Memorial hall told to forget about drinks licence

The Brian Clark Memorial Hall in Camelon
The Brian Clark Memorial Hall in Camelon
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A club has been refused a licence it is claimed would have allowed it to run as a pub.

Falkirk Council Licensing Board rejected a bid from the Brian Clark Memorial Hall in Camelon for a premises licence when it met.

The club, a long-standing Orange Order venue, had been trying for six months for the drinks licence to be granted.

It would have allowed seven day a week opening, 13 hours a day Monday to Friday and 14 hours at the weekend, and functions and events to be held – with the ‘members only’ policy being scrapped.

The application faced objections from neighbours in Burnside Terrace.

The lawyer hired to represent them said the hall was in the “completely wrong” place to operate the way the club committee wanted.

Archie MacIver claimed: “The area is almost exclusively residential and densely populated. The application is for a licence with services more usually associated with a pub not a club.

“As a club it has a history of issues that have not been resolved.

“There has been vandalism, grafitti, threats of violence. The list goes on and on. In short, this is an application for the wrong premises in the wrong place.”

Mr MacIver told the board: “You would not grant a pub licence in this location.”

When the board met last month there were claims the hall was basically an Orange Lodge and residents had been subjected to sectarian abuse by those using it.

The club is currently undergoing renovations and improvements which have still to be finished and given a completion certificate by Falkirk Council’s building control department.

Because of that the application on Tuesday was treated as provisional.

Dick Sandeman, solicitor for the club, said: “A lot of work has been done and although there are some things to be finished, these are minor details.

“These are the right premises in the right location for the type of things this club wants to provide including allowing people to watch sport on television and attend weddings and other functions.”

Mr Sandeman pointed out: “There have been no difficulties here for at least the last five years.

“These premises are well run, no nonsense is allowed and the club is not frequented by the ‘wrong type’ of customer.”

Licensing board convenor Councillor Malcolm Nicol said the “allegations” made by Mr MacIver on behalf of the objectors had not been substantiated, while the police had confirmed they had not been required to attend the premises for “a number of years”.

After a 15 minute adjournment, the board voted unanimously to refuse the application.

Mr Nicol said the club could make another premises licence application, but should possibly think about scaling back its plans.

It has been granted occasional licences before to serve alcohol, most recently at a darts night last month and a fund-raiser organised to collect cash to pay for the improvements.