A POP-UP beer garden created in a pub car park has been given “reluctant” approval to operate.

The Green in Haddington had already been granted a temporary licence to serve alcohol from their car park from tomorrow (Friday) for 10 days by licensing officers.

But an application for a second ‘occasional’ licence, which usually only lasts for two weeks, went before East Lothian Licensing Board for approval after local residents lodged objections.

And board members expressed their own concerns about the plans, which will see customers served food on the other side of the road from the pub itself.

At a meeting of the licensing board, via Skype, police and the council’s own licensing standards officer said they were satisfied with the plans made by applicant Laura McSweeney to safeguard customers and staff while opening the garden.

They revealed that the beer garden would operate four days a week with security fencing, a food truck serving table service drinks in the car park and staff bringing food from the pub to a safe table in the garden for collection.

All tables will be pre-booked and staff will keep a key to toilet facilities on them and escort any customer who needs to use them across the road and into the building.

Police Scotland told the board that concerns had been raised about the road which runs between the pub and the pop-up beer garden, which is classed as an ‘A’ road and near a junction.

However, their representative told the board that they were satisfied with measures taken by Ms McSweeney and her partner to tackle concerns.

Councillor Jim Goodfellow, board member, said: “If someone had shown me this application three months ago I would not have imagined any circumstances in which it would be a possibility.

“However, we have our officers and the police supporting this and saying with extra conditions it is possible, so I find myself reluctantly supporting it.”

His views were echoed by Councillor Lachlan Bruce, fellow board member, who added: “This is an unusual time, the plan is not risk averse, nothing is, but it has been well thought through.”

However, Councillor Jane Henderson told her board colleagues she could not back the application.

She said: “I cannot get comfortable with it, I am not reassured by the measures in place. I think this is too complicated and even in these extraordinary times I would not be happy to grant this application.”

The board voted by three to one to approve the two-week licence which will run from July 18 to July 31, with Councillor Fiona Dugdale, chair, also supporting it.

The board was told that an application for a third occasional licence for the first two weeks of August from The Green had been received in the post.