Halloween haunted house events knocked back by licensing board

Wellington House on the Square wanted to put on two family Halloween events with alcohol being served

Ayr Halloween haunted house events knocked back by licensing board iStock

Councillors have knocked back a bid by an Ayr venue to hold a family Halloween Haunted House event where alcohol would be sold.

South Ayrshire Licensing Board heard that Wellington House on the Square, which markets itself as a luxury wedding venue, wanted to put on two family Halloween events with alcohol being served on October 30 and 31.

Licensing standards officer Catriona Andrew said that the information provided by licence holder Gary Welsh missed out key details.

She suggested that the board may see the event as being contrary to their policies around protecting children.

The board heard that, despite being prompted to get in touch with the council during a previous application, there had been no further contact and the venue had not sent any representative to argue their case.

Ms Andrew said: “The application describes a ‘Halloween Event’ on both Monday October 30 and Tuesday October 31 from 6pm until 10pm.

“The applicant has advised on the form that there will be children and young persons in attendance ‘with family members’, however he does not state the ages for this.

“Additionally, the applicant has indicated that the purpose of the event is a ‘Halloween haunted house for families’ and advises that additional activities other than the sale of alcohol will be the ‘sale of fun refreshments, such as Halloween drinks and food for children and attending parents’”.

She added the events were ‘clearly being designed to appeal to children and young people’.

Ms Andrew added: “For this reason the Board may wish to consider whether grant of the application would be in accordance with the licensing objective ‘Protecting Children and Young People from Harm’.”

The board are in the process of updating their policy and have advised of their reluctance to grant an occasional licence to an event designed primarily for ‘children and young people’.

And Ms Andrew said the venue had not contacted the licensing officer despite the Board’s encouragement to do so previously.

She went on: “I am therefore only in a position to comment on the information provided on the application.”

Licensing board chair, Councillor William Grant said: “It is a bit of deja vu as the last time we had the same problems.

“Once again we have asked them to respond to the LSO and once again they have failed to respond to this. Little or no idea what is happening once again.”

Conservative councillor Bob Pollock agreed that ‘it is a deja vu moment’.

He continued: “They have clearly not taken on any of the advice given by the Board the last time.

“There is insufficient information and it would appear to be contrary to the Board’s policy. ”

The application was refused.

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