Scottish club agrees to a ban on outdoor music

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 25, 2021 08:06

A Scottish golf club has become the first venue in West Lothian to agree to ban outdoor music as it has won permission to develop its beer garden to provide more space for customers.

Bathgate Golf Club can now expand its outdoor seating and be open for longer hours.

The agreement has come about after West Lothian Council has faced an increasing number of noise complaints as outdoor commercial social spaces at clubs and pubs have grown rapidly in the area in the wake of Covid restrictions being lifted.

An agent for the club, lawyer Jordan Valentine, said the club had expanded its food and restaurant offering and enlarged outdoor seating areas both front and rear of the clubhouse would allow customers to take advantage of good weather and more space.

The golf club became the first venue to agree to a restriction, after council officials said the issue had become a ‘significant problem’, as it won permission from West Lothian Licensing Board to extend its Thursday hours from midnight to 1am.


Brian Carmichael from the council’s environmental health team urged the imposition of a condition banning the playing of amplified music in outdoor seating areas.

Bathgate Golf Club. Image from Facebook

He said the condition did not specifically apply only to the golf club but added that noise from music in beer gardens had been identified as an issue during the pandemic.

“It was becoming a significant problem so we took the view that the playing of amplified music outdoors was something that should be conditioned in future to control it.”

He added: “It was a unique situation that has developed over the pandemic. This is the first licence that has come up that we have been consulted on and we took a view to request the board to avoid external amplified music on beer gardens.”

The clubhouse is at least a quarter of a mile from the nearest property. Club secretary Gerry Flanagan said the club was happy to comply with the condition, adding that the last thing the club wanted was noise drifting across the course.

“You know what golfers are like about being disturbed by noise,” he added.

He stressed that the full outside area requested for use would be used rarely, on three or four occasions at most during the season, when large pro-am tournaments were held. The application has been prompted by a decision to afford customers more space.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 25, 2021 08:06
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