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New restaurant causes fears over alcohol bid

PUBLISHED: 12:52 11 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:55 11 February 2016

Funky Mojoe has lost its battle to overturn the council's licensing restrictions.

Funky Mojoe has lost its battle to overturn the council's licensing restrictions.

Archant

Residents have objected after a new high-end restaurant on the site of a notorious former nightclub applied for an alcohol licence.

The Woodford, High Road, South Woodford, opened on Tuesday on the former site of Funky Mojoe, a club closed by a High Court order in April 2014 after reports of crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Woodford’s website says it will be a restaurant committed to elegant dining, but residents are worried granting the alcohol licence will see the return of what one resident described as “a living hell”.

But after neighbours put in objections to the council over the application, the licensing sub-committee must decide on the application on Tuesday.

In a written objection, resident Jackie Peacock said: “Councillors will be well aware of the former troubles at Funky Mojoe, and I feel that we will be falling into the same trap. This is totally unfair to local residents.”

Cllr Tom McLaren (Con, Church End) said he understood apprehension, but believed the restaurant would prove a boon to the community.

He said: “It was a long-running battle to shut the nightclub down, but I was given a tour of the restaurant by the new owners and it’s a very different prospect. They want to be a Michelin star restaurant. I don’t think they’re going to cause trouble.”

But the councillor revealed he was hoping for some licensing restrictions to safeguard the community.

He said: “These guys have the best intentions but the last thing we want is for them to leave and someone else gets the licence when they move on.”


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