Shop given permission to sell booze at halls of residence in Aberdeen – despite objections from NHS Grampian

A shop in the Hillhead Halls of Residence will be able to sell alcohol from 10am to 10pm.

A retailer has been given permission to sell alcohol on a university halls site – despite concerns being raised it could encourage students to drink.

Omar Retail Logistics applied to sell alcohol at its convenience store within Hillhead Halls of Residence in Seaton.

The shop applied to sell booze between 10am and 10pm Monday to Sunday.

Aberdeen City Council’s licensing board approved the application yesterday.

The decision was made despite Dr Tara Shivaji, a consultant in public health at NHS Grampian, sending a letter of objection to the licensing board.

She outlined concerns about alcohol being sold to students whether it is “directly or inadvertently” encouraging them to do so.

She also feared the amount of alcohol on display and its position would encourage more alcohol to be bought.

A convenience store was previously located in a building adjacent to the halls with an alcohol capacity of 16.92 sqm but has since relocated within the site.

The new off-sales capacity for this premises has still to be confirmed but could be around 32 sqm – 89% larger.

Solicitor Andrew Thomson, who was speaking on behalf of the applicant, said steps had been taken to address the concerns.

He said: “There is a range of non-alcoholic beers and drinks on sale.

“All the spirits are behind the counter and there are no high strength ciders, and there are no promotional offers.

“There is a rigorous training programme in place and staff workbooks.

“The external auditors Market Force Europe also attend every quarter to check staff challenge age 25.”

Mr Thomson added: “I think the NHS report is making some general statements about alcohol problems in society as a whole and is a somewhat prohibition statement.”

Mr Thomson said his client had a proven track record, running similar shops at sites in Stirling and Manchester.

Meanwhile, Chiquitos, Coast to Coast and Handmade Burger Company were given permission to deliver a “small selection” of alcohol via Deliveroo.

Drinks will only be delivered along with food.

And the former Pier Bistro on Beach Esplanade, which was destroyed in a blaze, is due to reopen as At The Pier this year.

It was granted permission to sell takeaways.