A long-standing Orange Order hall was denied an alcohol licence on Wednesday after concerns were raised over safety and sectarianism.
The premises licence application may have been knocked back, but there was some good news for Camelon’s Brian Clark Memorial Hall as Falkirk Council’s licensing board granted the Burnside Terrace premises an occasional licence so it can sell alcohol at a number of events later in the year.
During the meeting council building control officers told members the premises did not have a completion certificate yet and there was still a lot of work to be carried out, including fitting self closing fire doors, emergency lighting and fire alarm systems.
Solicitor Dick Sandeman, representing the Memorial Hall, argued the lack of a completion certificate and the fact works were still to be carried out on the hall should not affect the board’s decision on granting or refusing an alcohol licence.
Mr Sandeman said: “There seems to be a misconception of what is going to be happening at the hall. Rather than having occasional licences all the time they want something in place that will allow the hall to be used as it has been in the past.
“Granting a premises licence will give the board greater control over the hall.”
A number of residents from neighbouring houses objected to the application.
One resident said the hall was basically an Orange Lodge and claimed he had been subjected to sectarian abuse by people attending the premises.
Police stated there had been no incidents regarding the hall reported to them in the last three years.
After an adjournment, board convener Malcolm Nicol said members had agreed to continue the application to allow the remainder of the work to be carried out at the hall so another premises licence application can be made.
The board then decided to grant an occasional licence for the premises, allowing it to sell alcohol at four events, including a fund raising night on Saturday which is hopefully going to help pay for the work that needs to be done on the hall.
The only condition is that the numbers of people attending these events, which also include a darts tournaments and a birthday party, be limited to whatever building control officers advise.