South Woodford restaurant wants to extend alcohol licence to 1am despite residents’ Funky Mojoe fears

Councillor and MP Iain Duncan Smith protesting with residents over Turkish restaurant Lokkum's late

Councillor and MP Iain Duncan Smith protesting with residents over Turkish restaurant Lokkum's late night alcohol licence application. Picture: Emma Best - Credit: Emma Best

A Turkish restaurant will today find out whether it will be able to sell alcohol until 1am, despite fears from residents it could lead to drunken anti-social behaviour.

Owner Cem Alkan will put his case to Redbridge Council’s licensing sub-committee that Lokkum, in Woodford New Road, South Woodford, should have its licence extended.

The restaurant is on the former site of the Napier Arms, which had its licence restricted in 2012 after reports of lap dancing.

Mr Alkan, who took over the site last year, wants to stay open until 2am between Thursday and Saturday – serving alcohol until 1am on those days and until midnight for the rest of the week.

He insists this is to allow the restaurant to have two sittings.

Mr Alkan wrote to residents saying it will be “beautiful, honest, community focused and family orientated eatery”, and previously told the Recorder it was to allow people returning late from work time to eat.

He has promised “it will not be a night club”.

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But neighbours have said they don’t understand why it should open until 2am, and fear it could be another Funky Mojoe situation.

The night club, which used to be in High Road, was shut by the High Court in 2014 after reports of crime and anti-social behaviour.

Dan Greaves has written to the council about Lokkum “to object in the strongest possible terms”.

“This bears a striking similarity to shameful tactics employed by the proprietors of the former Funky Mojoes which blighted the community with anti-social behaviour, violence and intimidation,” he said.

Residents Susan and John Bracken put forward a representation saying: “We have never forgotten the groups of inebriated people marauding down our street in the early hours from The Napier Arms.”

They said they saw vomiting, urinating, property damage, fighting and foul language.

Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith and South Woodford councillors have come together to object the licence extension.

Mr Duncan Smith wrote: “The local residents suffered enough with anti-social behaviour and noise at unreasonable hours from the previous licensees.”

The Met have not objected to Mr Alkan’s request, provided he complies with a series of conditions including installing a CCTV system.

See our website later today for the verdict.

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