PLANS by a Lauder hotel to operate a gin bar and beer tent during the town’s Common Riding are being opposed by the police.

The Lauderdale Hotel in Edinburgh Road wants to run the two facilities from 10am till 10pm on Saturday, August 5 to cater for the annual festival.

The application for the required occasional licence is due to be considered by Friday’s meeting of the Scottish Borders Licensing Board.

In her application, Moira Ainslie, secretary and director of Lauderdale Hotel Ltd, explains that the tents will be situated in the garden to the rear of the hotel and that live music will be provided by singer/guitarist Gary Cleghorn.

“This will be a free event for the people attending the Common Riding festivities,” writes Mrs Ainslie, who has been cited to attend Friday’s meeting. “Children, in family groups, will have access to the garden for the duration”.

The application has elicited no objections from members of the public or Scottish Borders Council’s licensing standards officer.

But the police is urging the board to reject the bid.

A letter submitted on behalf of Police Scotland Chief Constable Phil Gormley states: “Historically, Lauder has had issues with alcohol-related disorder during its Common Riding, resulting in a significant commitment of [police] resources into the early hours.

“Any application to increase the amount of alcohol is a concern.”

Of the proposed event, the letter goes on: “There is no indication of any stewarding arrangements or how many children and young people will be present. The commencement of 10am is outside licensing board policy.”

Noting that the hotel already has two “large halls” for functions, the letter states: “It is the police position that the premises currently has adequate facilities to provide the services detailed in the application without the additional supply of alcohol in the garden.

“For these reasons, Police Scotland objects…in respect of the prevention of crime and disorder, securing public safety, preventing public nuisance and protecting children from harm.”