A Chigwell bar frequented by TOWIE stars and accused of holding several lockdown parties has been refused a request to stay open later.

Melin Chigwell in Woodford Green was stripped of its licence in January last year after being accused of running 13 “Covid factory” parties in 2020.

However, owner Ali Melin, 44, has appealed Redbridge Council’s decision, meaning his bar can operate as usual until the case is heard at a local magistrates’ court in November.

Melin losing its licence would mean the bar, said to be popular with TOWIE stars, will not be allowed to serve alcohol or stay open after 11pm.

Despite the ongoing legal battle to keep its licence, Melin applied to extend its closing times, including by an hour on Fridays and Saturdays, to close at 1.30am.

It also asked to relax other conditions such as needing a female door supervisor, forbidding patrons from taking drinks outside and allowing use of the roof terrace after 9pm.

Redbridge’s licensing committee refused the application, saying it has “no trust” in the bar or its owner.

Opposing the application, the Met Police and council revealed several concerns that have emerged since last January.

This includes the allegation that Ali forged a doctor’s letter to avoid attending the licensing hearing in January, that he now runs the business as a “shadow director” and that he frustrated a police investigation into sexual assault on the premises.

The police allege Ali avoided attending the January 2021 hearing by forging a letter from a “Dr Killian Borega” claiming he must “refrain from work or any stressful environment”.

However, social media posts suggested Ali was in Dubai at the time and, when officers raised doubts about Dr Borega’s existence, his barrister withdrew from the case citing “professional embarrassment”.

A statement from police said an officer visited the club in January 2022 to ask for CCTV related to an alleged sexual assault.

The officer was “frustrated” at the owner allegedly failing to provide CCTV until a specialist police team was called in to download the footage.

The licensing committee’s refusal, published last week, found Ali “continues to run and substantially control” the bar, despite appointing manager Mannu Dahiya, 40, as supervisor and company director.