A Glasgow pub has been permitted to use its beer garden during events at Hampden Park – but the area can’t open when Rangers play Celtic at the stadium.
Neighbours of the Beechwood, on Ardmay Crescent, objected to the bar’s plans to serve customers using the outdoor seating on event days, with one resident previously reporting men urinating outside her window.
Beechwood bosses initially asked to make changes to its premises licence in 2019 but the Covid pandemic impacted a planned six-month trial. The trial was restarted in February and the city’s licensing board has now decided to approve the permanent variation despite nine objections.
A condition imposed by Police Scotland means the beer garden “cannot be used for any licensed activities where Glasgow Rangers are playing Glasgow Celtic at Hampden Park” or, on request from the force, due to “category C-IR Risk matches” – games where there is “increased risk of disorder”.
The outdoor area must also have a minimum of two stewards on event days and only plastic cups can be used. Under the altered licence, the pub can also use the function room until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights.
When the board met in February, one resident complained about men urinating outside her home on match days while another said it had been “noisy” outside the pub during parties. At a meeting on Friday, neighbours said there had been an improvement but raised concerns over a low wall on the pub’s boundary which they feel could be built up to prevent disturbances.
One resident, Josephine McAloon, said: “Things have been a bit better but there is also a problem with the stewards. It’s not the same stewards they have all the time, it’s different ones so they don’t know the area. I feel there is a lack of phoning the police when there is an incident.”
She added: “There’s people going to their work in the morning and it can be chaos at times. It’s not that we object to the Beechwood being there, it’s been there forever, but we are being disturbed in the evening while these things are happening.”
Andrew Hunter, the solicitor representing the pub, said the beer garden had been used when Ed Sheeran and Coldplay concerts were held at Hampden this summer. “As far as I understand there has been no complaint as a result of that,” he said.
Mr Hunter said there are two permanent stewards who have been at the premises over a year. “There will be occasions when we’re up to eight stewards when you will get those who are not working regularly at the premises,” he added.
A Police Scotland officer reported during the previous 12 months there had been nine incidents related to the premises “all of which were reported to police by staff members”. “These incidents were not considered detrimental to the application,” she added.
Regarding the low wall, Mr Hunter said plans to install a fence had been delayed by covid. He said the pub is waiting on the outcome of a second licensing application, which is being processed, as it would change the layout of the outdoor area. “It’s essentially to prevent work being done twice,” he added.
Black anti-vandal paint had previously been used on the wall and the operators agreed to consider a temporary solution until a fence can be erected.
Mr Hunter also said there is “ongoing dialogue” between Police Scotland and the pub’s manager over the use of the beer garden and they would be “happy to continue having meetings with the residents”.
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