As local authorities carry out overprovision assessments West Dunbartonshire Council has declared all future licence applications will be refused,
The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 requires Licensing Boards to take a pro-active position on overprovision and identify those localities in which it would not propose to grant new licences or licences for premises of a particular description.
John Drummond, Chief Executive of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation SGF said:
“SGF believe an application for a licence should be considered on its own merits. We are concerned blanket overprovision policies could stifle innovation, lead to inflexibility and deny the development of new businesses which could provide opportunities for the local economy including new services and jobs.
“Refusing new licences will not solve alcohol related problems in the localities identified in overprovision assessments. Instead councils must ensure existing licence holders adhere to the law and confront rogue licensees who are adding to the problems associated with alcohol misuse. Existing legislation puts in place a strong structural framework to achieve this.”