Ilford Lane takeaway refused permission to extend opening hours due to anti-social behaviour concerns
PUBLISHED: 19:00 31 July 2020
A popular burger takeaway as been refused permission to open later in the evenings after residents objected.
Bim’s, in Ilford Lane, Ilford, asked Redbridge Council’s licensing sub-committee for permission to stay open until midnight from Sunday to Thursday and 1am on Friday and Saturday.
People living nearby, some of whom spoke at the meeting, claimed the restaurant has caused issues with littering and anti-social behaviour, which they said would get worse if it opened later.
They also alleged the restaurant breached its current licence by staying open well into the evening, until 4.30am on one occasion.
The owners, however, maintain they complied with everything asked of them by the council’s enforcement team, including paying for a litter bin outside their shop.
A meeting was held on Friday, July 24 and the committee revealed its decision today, Friday, July 31.
The committee wrote: “The refusal of the applicant to accept any responsibility for the activities of his customers outside of the premises gives us no confidence that this licence can be granted without undermining the licensing objectives.
“It is quite apparent that what little has been done to address public nuisance and anti-social behaviour has been done reluctantly and there remains a belief that efforts by local authority enforcement officers to address the concerns of local residents amounts to an unreasonable and unlawful interference with the business.”
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The committee added it “takes very seriously” the fact that the applicant has been open late into the night without the proper licence, saying this is a criminal offence.
A spokesperson for Bim’s said this morning that they were “very disappointed” with the committee’s decision.
They said: “There have clearly been problems with anti-social behaviour in the area and these problems, by the council’s own admission, have been in existence long before we opened Bim’s.
“Indeed, since our arrival in January 2020, prostitution and drug-taking, which occurred nightly in the ground behind our restaurant, have disappeared thanks mainly to our zero tolerance policy.”
At the meeting last week, the business’ lawyer insisted the council has a responsibility to keep the area clear and that the presence of Bim’s made no difference to the area.
However, the spokesperson today acknowledged “there are issues of noise and pollution connected to Bim’s which must be addressed” and described plans to create a “task force” to tackle them.
They said: “In the coming weeks we will approach all the interested parties locally and arrange the first of what we hope will be regular meetings at which the problems affecting our community can be discussed.
“We hope this inclusive approach will result in positive action to eradicate the noise and litter which are blighting the area.”
The restaurant will continue to operate at its current hours, closing at 11pm. A spokesperson is expected to provide a statement tomorrow.
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