Burnside Bar outdoor drinks area delay

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A bar owner’s wait for permission to install an outdoor seating area, first proposed nearly five years ago, will go on for a while longer after licensing chiefs ordered a site visit.

James McLean, of the Burnside Bar on Burnside Street, Campbeltown, made an appeal for a variation of his premises’ licence at the meeting of Argyll and Bute licensing board on Tuesday April 23.

He is worried that any further delay would mean missing out on another season, but the variation could not be granted until board members have visited the bar.

Board chairman Councillor David Kinniburgh pledged that the visit will take place as soon as possible.

A report produced in advance of the meeting said: ‘The applicant is seeking permission for an outdoor drinking area of both tables and chairs on Harvey’s Lane which is located immediately outside the premises.

‘The applicant proposes to enhance the bar with hanging baskets and pot plants and safety barriers to attain a pleasant environment as experienced in many towns and cities.’

At the meeting, Mr McLean said: ‘We have had these drawings and proposals for about five years and we just want to see if we can go ahead with getting an outside licence.’

Councillor Rory Colville said: ‘Speaking with an officer, who confirmed that the paperwork has gone through, it is no longer road beside where you want the outdoor area – it is a pavement.

‘I wonder, given that there has been some correspondence, might it be worth a site visit?’

Councillor Kinniburgh said: ‘The thought that is occurring to me is that we have traffic policy guidelines about pavements being 1.8m wide.

‘I know from the plans that this pavement is 1.2m wide. If the pavement was to be widened to 1.8m, would you still be able to carry out what you are proposing?’

Mr McLean confirmed that he would still be able to carry it out, but he added on the possibility of a site visit: ‘If we need to wait, it is another year gone. Can we not go ahead in the meantime?’

Councillor Kinniburgh replied: ‘I am not sure that would be the advisable route to go, but if the site visit takes place in May, it might be possible to issue a decision on that and we may give you the opportunity to carry out the work from there.

‘You may miss out on some of the season, but in view of what we are talking about, our intention would be to have the site visit in a couple of weeks or so.’