Outdoor seating approved to help Haddington's Golf Tavern recover from lockdown

A community pub has been given the go-ahead to put outdoor seating on the street as it bids to safeguard its future.

The operators of the Golf Tavern, Haddington, asked East Lothian Council’s licensing board to let them serve food and drink at the front of the pub as lockdown eases.

The pub, which sits in the heart of a residential area in the town’s Nungate, was described by licensee Lynn Gordon-McIntosh as a community business which had been serving locals for more than 12 years.

And despite one objection from residents of a property adjacent to the pub, she said that the majority of neighbours had been supportive of the plans.

Community pub: The Golf Tavern

The Tavern, like most licensed premises across Scotland, has suffered from the impact of Covid-19 lockdown, losing much of its turnover repeatedly during the last 12 months as the nation’s pubs were forced to close their doors.

Mrs Gordon-McIntosh told a virtual meeting of the licensing board: “We are a community business and we have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“We are trying to keep nearly 30 staff employed.

“We have spoken to close neighbours and, apart from one objection, everyone else has wished us well.”

The pub applied for a permanent major variation to its operating licence to allow five picnic benches on the street in front of it and two to the side.

The roads department have already approved the use of the roadway for the outdoor seating and the licence asked for the outdoor area to be used until 10pm for drink and 9pm for food.

The board received a written objection from residents of one neighbouring property, who raised concern that the outdoor area would create noise and bring patrons in close proximity to their property.

However, the board, after deliberating in private, approved the licence, adding an 8pm curfew to using the outdoor seating area.

Ward councillor John McMillan, chairing the board, said: “We are minded to grant the application but with a finish time of 8pm bearing in mind the residential nature of the area.

“We will monitor any changes and are sure they will be positive.”

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