Off sales face restrictions in Fife towns

Pic: John Devlin
Pic: John Devlin

Fife Licensing Board has launched a consultation to consider restricting the number of off sale licenses in certain towns – including Kirkcaldy.

And it may freeze any increase until 2023.
A motion, to be discussed by the board after the summer recess, will consider refusing permission for any more licences being granted in Kirkcaldy, Cowdenbeath and Levenmouth.

The policy would be in affect from November until 2023.

These three areas would be restricted due to the negative impact that off sales are viewed to be having, specifically in relation to alcohol related problems.

In the draft policy, the board said the number of licences in these areas is a direct correlation in the level of health problems.

It also believes there is an over provision of places that are selling alcohol – namely local shops and supermarkets.

There are currently 1069 premises in Fife which have alcohol sales licences.

During 2016-17 there were 2344 admissions of people in Fife to hospitals with an alcohol related diagnosis, with 43 per cent of those having attended hospital previously for alcohol related illnesses.

A total of 10 per cent of attendances were from children aged 15 and under.

In this time, figures showed that those living in the Fife town of Cowdenbeath had the highest rates of admissions.

In areas with high levels of deprivation, people were seven times more likely to be admitted into hospital with alcohol related injuries than those with lower deprivation levels.