After reviewing evidence on 19 March for the number of alcohol licenses released and its correlation to alcohol-related harm in towns, the Fife Licensing Board has decided to reconsider the allocation of licensed areas in St Andrews.
Other surrounding areas are also being examined to restrict licenses, including Kirkcaldy, Levenmouth, Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly, and Lumphinnans.
If board members decide to take further actions on this matter, new off-sales licenses will either be banned or restricted.
As the limit of licensed premises is being closely monitored, a revision in this law could mean that many areas in town may face more difficulty attaining a license, or current locations will have their alcohol license revoked.
New off-sale licenses could either be banned or restricted
However, Councillor Dominic Nolan, who is also a student of the University of St Andrews, has argued against the board’s actions in defense of a different proposal.
Mr. Nolan argued that St Andrews is a special case due to its status as a tourist town, as well as its large university student population that changes each year.
Mr. Nolan said to The Courier,“It’s right to consider the number of licensed premises in our town, but we must remember that St Andrews is unique in that it is a world-class tourist destination, a world-class sporting venue, and has a world-class university.”
He argued that St Andrews has a fluctuating town population because of the University student population and the tourists and athletes that visit depending on the season.
Mr. Nolan proposed that rather than limit the number of alcohol licensed areas in St Andrews, the board should exempt St Andrews by granting it the Purple Flag status, similar to what Dunfermline bears.
By doing so, St Andrews would be acknowledged as a town that has a safe nightlife, respectful to its status on excellent tourism, sport and education, and licenses would not be revoked or limited.
Mr. Nolan continued, “Most importantly though, townsfolk, students and tourists can be assured of enjoying a drink safely and without causing a public nuisance.”
He will again address the issue at the town’s community council and BID St Andrews for their point of view on the matter.
The board will likely review the matter in May before opening for a review of their findings.
They are estimated to settle on a final decision on the matter later in autumn.