A Forfar pub’s 2am weekend opening bid has been delayed by a late flurry of local opposition.
Angus licensing board councillors were due to consider the Old Mason’s Arms application for 2am Friday and Saturday night opening at their meeting on Thursday.
The East High Street hostelry is the latest Angus pub to go for a policy-breaking extension to weekend opening hours.
Licensing bosses had previously set a 1am opening limit across the district.
But several Angus premises have successfully applied for the extra hour on Friday and Saturday nights.
Backers within the board say the move will help the licensed trade recovered from the crippling impact of the pandemic.
But critics warn it could open the floodgates to an increase in early hours anti-social behaviour across the district and see nightclubs demand even later opening hours.
Council solicitor David Thompson said a number of late objections had been received to the Old Mason’s Arms application.
He added: “The board can admit late objections if it considers there are good reasons for doing so.
“However, we would normally afford the applicant the opportunity to address whether they should be considered by the board.
“Neither the applicant or their solicitor are able to attend today.
“My suggestion would be to defer this to the board meeting in November to allow us to provide copies of the objections to the applicant and allow them to make representations then.”
Members unanimously agreed to the deferral.
The board did, however, knock back a bid by the new Montrose Playhouse community cinema to be able to serve film fans with a drink until 3am at special screening nights.
It is the culmination of a nine-year dream for the volunteer-led Playhouse project team.
Among a range of applications relating to the new premises, which includes a café bar and other community facilities, was the plan for special late-night premieres.
Licensing solicitor Janet Hood explained the intention is to have red carpet events once a month with screenings from midnight to 3am.
A film festival is also part of the Playhouse plans to put the Montrose hub on the cultural map and would also involve late films.
Mrs Hood said the Playhouse would be closely monitored and board members heard alcohol would only be available to those attending the special screenings.
She said: “This is not somewhere that’s going to attract and old lag drinking softly from ten in the morning till three in the morning.”
Board members agreed a 2am limit for the special screening events.