Codona’s have been banned from playing music at a new food market – only metres away from the speakers blasting out tunes over their iconic Aberdeen fairground.
The family-run amusement park is taking over the space previously used by Backyard Collective.
But pleas to play music for atmosphere at the food market failed to strike a chord at Aberdeen licensing board on Friday.
Bosses will be able to take advantage of flexibility over the summer to play music in outdoor venues until 8pm.
But come September 1, diners will be left to eat in silence.
The outdoor space was a huge hit when it operated over the pandemic when indoor socialising was limited, welcoming more than 13,000 customers.
But it closed for the final time in September last year.
Codona’s had asked the council to add the external space to its current premises licence.
The application also included changing its opening hours to 11am on Sundays.
Police Scotland supported the change but asked that no amplified music be played in the space.
Solicitor Stephen McGowan addressed the board on behalf of the amusement bosses.
He said: “It has been a very well run area under the occasional licence, no complaints that we’re aware of and no issues.
“It’s a very unique premises, and is one of only two permanent amusement parks of this scale in the whole of Scotland.
“The existing licence has an extremely large outdoor area which does not have a ban on amplified music over the many decades it has traded.”
Mr McGowan said background music was “important” for the outdoor space.
He explained: “We need to have amplified music in this area.
“Background, ambient music for the purposes of atmosphere for the people who are going there to drink and dine.
“It really doesn’t make sense that we couldn’t have background music in the new area set against the wider nature of the premises.”
Councillor Marie Boulton raised some concerns about noise and worried that the music may need to be louder than desired.
Questioning Mr McGowan she said: “Would you not agree that potentially with all the other background noise that the music would probably have to be a bit louder and then becomes a competing factor?
“And then there is residential not that far away and other people down by the beach who are not necessarily wanting to have a combination of background music in lots of different areas.”
But Mr McGowan explained that measures would be in place to ensure the music is a suitable volume.
At the last licensing board meeting in April councillors agreed all licensed premises with outdoor areas could play low-level background music in June, July and August until 8pm.
Councillor Boulton suggested that Codona’s could take advantage of the relaxation in policy and have music through the summer months.
Mr McGowan accepted this proposal and said Codona’s would “respect” the decision although they wanted permission to play music until 10pm.
New licensing board convener Councillor Neil Copland said he supported the police recommendations and added: “I don’t want to start a precedent”.
Meanwhile, the organisers of the Backyard Beach Collective had a provisional premises licence for their new venture approved.
Michael Robertson and David Griffiths had made the application for Resident X.
The new street food market hall will open in the city’s Marischal Square 1 later this year.
It will feature five resident street vendors and two bar areas showcasing “premium, modern and show piece cocktails”.
The new eatery is expected to open from 10am to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 10am to 1am on Friday and Saturday.