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Alcohol licence in couple's garden granted against their objections Published Date: 21/01/2024

STV reported that Perth and Kinross Licensing Board has unanimously approved a licence for a Masonic Lodge situated in a couple’s garden.

On Wednesday, January 17 councillors agreed to grant a premises licence for Lodge St John 174 in Dunning to be able to sell alcohol. But objectors Clare Monaghan and Glen Gardner feared the licence might result in drunken strangers being in the garden of their family home.

Rather unusually, Clare Monaghan and Glen Gardner have a Masonic Lodge – a former church building – in their garden. The former church sits next to their home – a former manse – and within their garden grounds. They bought their home 27 years ago.

At Wednesday’s meeting, according to STV, Ms Monaghan explained to the board:

“The Lodge is located wholly and entirely in our garden. We have concerns about the safety and security of my property and my family if a full licence is granted.

She explained that when they bought the house, there was a “condition of access for Lodge meetings once a month over six winter months”.

He said: “It can only be meetings with alcohol. If they wanted to hold a function with the general public, they would have to apply for an occasional licence and be limited to 12 in a calendar year.”

The applicant, Robert Crowe, assured the board and neighbours: “There will be no variants. It’s for Lodge meetings only.

“All we want is a licence to run the Lodge and to follow the rules and the law.”

He later added: “No one gets in unless they are members or wives of members. I spoke to Dr Gardner and Ms Monaghan and said I would make sure all our functions take place in the village hall.”

Meetings are held in the Lodge twice a month from September to April. The Lodge has been at its current Dunning location for 102 years and has been in the village since 1780.