Arbroath club licence delay after sex shop confusion

A bid by Arbroath’s De Vito’s nightclub to extend its weekend opening hours hit a snag after a police sergeant mistakenly quoted laws on sex shops.
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The confusion at Angus Council’s licensing board was flagged up by solicitor Janet Hood, representing the venue’s owner.

She pointed out that Sergeant James Gordon had quoted from a law on sex shop applications when submitting a late objection to the club’s licence extension request.

De Vito’s had applied to stay open an extra hour on Fridays and Saturdays, until 3.30am.

After the issue relating to the legislation was resolved, the board still agreed to defer any decision on the licence until details of the objection could be considered by Ms Hood and her client.

Ms Hood said: “I was caught somewhat off the back foot. And the legislation quoted by the police this morning is the wrong legislation.

“It’s Civic Government legislation not Licensing (Scotland) Act legislation, therefore the request to you (the board) is actually incompetent because they have used the wrong legislation.

“And I think it’s actually quite important that this is noted.”

The basis of the objection was not revealed at the meeting but it now means the venue must wait at least another month for a decision.

The extended hours application had been refused previously, but De Vito’s appealed the ruling at Forfar Court and the board decided not to oppose the claim due to the expected expenses the council would incur.

Visibly annoyed, Ms Hood continued: “The legislation quoted, according to the police officer actually relates to applications for sex shops rather than to licensing matters in terms of alcohol.

“I think it is incumbent on the police to make sure they try to get the law right, in general, throughout this entire matter. My client’s been ready to move forward today; we’ve gone through a challenging appeal and I really fail to see why something else has to be put before you.

“However, if it is the board’s wish that you will accept this late decision, then we will just have to deal with it,” she added.

The venue, located on Millgate Loan, was previously described by Ms Hood as “the premier nightclub in Arbroath”.

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