THE COMPANY behind the Spiggie Hotel is to receive a written writing over late premises licence fee payments.
Two instalments, worth a total of £140, were due in April and July – but they were only paid in August following reports in the local media about plans to a hold a review into the hotel’s licence.
A meeting of Shetland’s licensing board agreed on Monday to send a “strongly worded” warning to the company.
The South Mainland hotel, which has six rooms, and two self-catering apartments, was bought by Christopher and Missa Lee in 2017.
The board previously heard that Christopher Lee, the director of the company running the hotel, had requested to pay the 2020/21 annual licensing fee of £280 in four instalments of £70.
The first instalment was paid in October last year, and the second – due on 1 January 2021 – was paid on 26 February. But two remained outstanding for a number of months despite reminders being sent.
The company was also previously warned in 2018 over a late licensing payment.
Board members were also told in August there was “no evidence” the hotel was currently trading.
At Monday’s meeting Christopher Lee was not present in person but he said he wished to apologise.
Solicitor Keith Adam added that Lee said the pressures of Covid “were considerable and that made business operations difficult”.
Adam, however, said the fee for Spiggie for the year ahead has now also been paid.
During debate at Monday’s meeting Lerwick councillor Stephen Leask noted the difficulty in the trade over the last year and a half.
“I feel that we would need to perhaps look at this in a lenient fashion, I dare say,” he said.
North Mainland member Alastair Cooper felt a written warning would suffice this time around – but one which stressed that another breach would result in stronger action.
His view was supported by other members of the board.
Chairman Cecil Smith said: “I do think we need to make a strongly worded letter.”
He added that with late instalments followed by a full payment for 2021/22, the board may be “being led down the garden path a little bit”.
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