South Woodford club Funky Mojoe must slash opening hours after court appeal fails
PUBLISHED: 12:50 07 November 2013 | UPDATED: 17:19 07 November 2013
A South Woodford nightclub will have to slash its opening hours after a judge upheld restrictions imposed to stop crime and anti-social behaviour.
Funky Mojoe, in High Road, appealed a Redbridge Council ruling in April to close the bar at 11.30pm at the latest, compared to the current 2.30am.
But the appeal was dismissed in a hearing at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court this morning and the opening hours decided by the council will have to be brought in.
Cllr Richard Hoskins, who was in court for the five day hearing, said some residents had tears in their eyes when the verdict was delivered.
He said: “You can imagine how delighted they all are.
“It’s been happening since 2008 when Funky Mojoe first opened and it’s finally over.
“The judge was very careful to thank residents for their evidence and congratulated them on the careful and thoughtful way they delivered it.”
A five year campaign against rowdiness from the bar was supported by Chingford and Woodford Green Iain Duncan Smith, who welcomed the result.
He said: “This is a great result for local residents who have had to put up with noise and anti-social behaviour as a result of this club for far too long.
“I congratulate the licensing team at Redbridge Council, who I know have worked very hard on this for a long time.”
Residents told the court they were often woken in the night by drinkers leaving the club who left litter, bottles, cans and even urinated in the streets.
The council’s review into Funky Mojoe’s licence started after a “street brawl” in January, when around 50 people fought outside the club with belts and bottles in the early hours.
Cllr Alex Wilson, cabinet member for planning and public protection, said: “The issues associated with a venue operating for those hours led to residents suffering from unacceptable levels of noise and public nuisance caused by patrons of the premises.
“I am very confident that the new hours will improve the impact on nearby residents.”
The club can appeal to the High Court but will have to operate the new opening hours – serving until 11pm Sunday to Thursday, and 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays – unless today’s decision is overturned.
All customers must leave the premises by midnight.
The licensing sub-committee’s decision to suspend the licence for six weeks will not go ahead as the judge deemed it no longer necessary.
The council was also awarded costs of £72,000 at the hearing.
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