Beer garden at popular Dennistoun pub approved

A beer garden at popular Dennistoun pub The Duke has been allowed to stay open despite concerns over noise.

The Duke in Dennistoun.

The outdoor area had been operating under an occasional licence — awarded to help firms open under Covid restrictions — for around four months.

Now, Glasgow’s licensing board has agreed the pub’s premises licence can be changed to make the beer garden permanent.

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However, planning permission has yet to be awarded for a permanent outdoor area — and an initial application was rejected by council planning officers in March.

Cllr Elaine McDougall submitted one of two objections to the licence application, with concerns over the possibility of noise nuisance from the venue.

But Niall Hassard, representing pub owners Hawthorn Leisure, told the licensing board that the objections were submitted before the beer garden opened under the occasional licence. Since it opened, there have been no complaints, he said.

“These haven’t been followed up, and certainly we’re unaware of any complaints from any person, resident or councillor or indeed through council officers or the police,” he said.

“The actual concern about the possibility of issues never materialised and thus the track record in the four months or so has been really, really strong.”

A council officer added: “We received a couple of complaints at the start of the pandemic last year, with regards to noise.

“The premises were monitored and we found that they were in line with the safe operation of any external area.

“I think it was just a case of when premises started to open again, there was a slight increase in complaints across the city, because people had been used to quiet.”

Police Scotland did not object to the application. The overall capacity of the pub remains 120 across outdoor and indoor areas.

Mr Hassard said: “It effectively means that on a sunny day people will hopefully choose to sit outside.

“They will keep a check on the numbers outside versus the numbers inside.”

He said the beer garden is a facility which “the clientele have really enjoyed having”.

The pub has a “more mature” demographic, he added, which has “suffered quite a lot with isolation” and was “keen to come back out” but “tentative about being in an indoor environment”.

He added: “The outdoor area has been something which the customers have really commented on as being a nice transitional step to see their friends again and enjoy a beer.”

The licensing board also allowed the pub to add off sales, which Mr Hassard said would only be used in “extreme circumstances” and would not be marketed.

A decision has yet to be made on the latest planning application from The Duke Bar for the beer garden. Bosses say traditional pubs must evolve in order to survive the pandemic.

Plans have been changed after council officers rejected the original application, believing there would be “unacceptable activity levels” which could have a “detrimental impact” on neighbours.