The Scottish Government has been warned it could face widespread protests from business leaders if it pushes ahead with plans to create an alcohol licensing register.
Ministers have published proposals that would see tradespeople forced to have their personal information, including their full name and home address, listed on a public register if they apply for a licence to sell alcohol.
Industry experts have claimed the move could put the safety of business owners at risk and called on the Scottish Government to take action before the proposed legislation comes into force on November 2.
Angus-based licensing expert Janet Hood has written to officials urging them to reconsider the plans in light of ongoing controversies over personal licence renewals and warnings from licensing chiefs.
Ms Hood said: “It means that individuals and connected persons applying for a premises licence will have their home addresses made public, which might not be safe in certain circumstances, for example, if someone has barred a drug dealer or a thief.
“This could be dangerous for members of the licensed trade. It was actually discussed prior to the 2005 Act coming into force and it was an acknowledged risk.
“I think we need to protest this piece of legislation and permit personal information to be redacted, or better still, submitted on a separate form.”
The proposals have been put forward in an amendment to the the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and would mean application details becoming publicly available, along with operating and layout plans and the business’ disabled access and facilities statement.
The Scottish Government has pledged to consider whether further action needs to be taken after admitting it had been made aware of concerns by a number of interested parties.
A spokesperson said: “The licensing register amendment regulations are intended to include the disabled access and facilities statement within the licensing register for alcohol licensing.
“We have received concerns about the amendment and we will consider these further and take appropriate action if necessary.”
The Scottish Government has also been asked to reconsider plans to freeze fees for people applying for personal licenses amid claims from licensing boards that renewal charges would fail to meet even basic costs.
Tens of thousands of licence holders will have to apply for renewal from now until May 31 next year.