Falkirk licensing: Town centre pub gets to keep beer garden despite noise complaints

A Falkirk beer garden created during the Covid pandemic now has a permanent licence, despite complaints about noise disturbing elderly residents nearby.
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The Colonial Bar, on Graham’s Road, will now be able to use the outdoor drinking area at the side of the premises that “got them through the dark days” of lockdown using occasional licences.

Police Scotland told members of Falkirk Council’s licensing board on Wednesday that two complaints about “extreme noise” from the area had been received last year, one in June and one in September.

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However, officers had not been able to attend either incident so were unable to say exactly where the complaints had come from.

The Colonial introduced its beer garden behind a wooden fence in Grahams Road. Pic: Michael GillenThe Colonial introduced its beer garden behind a wooden fence in Grahams Road. Pic: Michael Gillen
The Colonial introduced its beer garden behind a wooden fence in Grahams Road. Pic: Michael Gillen

Sergeant Malcolm O’May said the information in the police report was that “extreme noise had been coming from the premises and causing distress to residents of a nearby care home”.

Councillor Lorna Binnie said she would like a more exact location as there are no care homes nearby.

The sergeant said he had no further information, although he agreed it was likely to be sheltered housing at the Castings, which is across the road.

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He added that Police Scotland had visited the pub later on both occasions and found the response from the staff was “excellent”.

He said the police were not objecting to the use of the beer garden but wanted some mitigation to prevent any repeat complaints.

Representing the pub, solicitor Robin Morton said they “were not hiding from the fact that there was unsatisfactory noise”.

He said the first complaint came after a surprise party was held for a well-known pub regular which led to a “loud cheer” when they walked in.

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The second occasion was a customer singing football songs that were “unpleasant” but they had been barred from the premises.

Mr Morton added that a new manager was now in post and pub staff would keep a close eye on the area, through CCTV and regular visits outside.

The pub does have an outdoor screen to show football games during the day but they have promised that evening games will only be shown indoors.

The board’s convener, Provost Robert Bissett said he was content that the pub is a “well-run establishment” and he was satisfied with the mitigation that is now in place.

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Councillor Alf Kelly said he was not comfortable granting the application as he did not know where any elderly residents were who were likely to be affected.

However, the rest of the board supported the Provost and agreed to grant the licence.

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