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Redbridge Council rejects Woodford Green restaurant's late night opening plans

PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 May 2017

Restaurant interior photography

Restaurant interior photography

Archant

A contentious plan to allow a fine dining restaurant to remain open until 2am has been rejected by Redbridge Council.

La Sala, in Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, applied to extend its opening hours until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays and 12.30am on Sundays, but had that request denied at a meeting of the council’s licensing sub-committee at Redbridge Town Hall yesterday.

Eleven residents had filed objections to the extension prior to the meeting, fearing the premises was trying to turn itself into a nightclub.

But La Sala’s director, Paul Groman-Marks, admitted he had been left “heartily disappointed” by the sub-committee’s decision.

“Hopefully we can get to the bottom of some of these resident complaints and if we can prove they had nothing to do with La Sala then we can appeal,” he told the Recorder.

“This spot has always been a pub and it’s always had its problems, we’ve improved it considerably since we took over but still residents complain.

“They’d probably still complain if it was a church.”

Neither the Metropolitan Police nor the council’s health and safety team made any representations against the proposed licence changes.

Mr Groman-Mark added: “We were given a lovely letter from the police saying they have no objections to the later opening hours.

“The only reason we want them is simply to meet the demands of our clientele.

“We had a tribute act playing last night, and unfortunately we had to turn the lights up and kick everyone out at closing time.

“The last thing you want when you’re having an enjoyable evening is that to happen.”

But Bridge councillor Paul Canal, one of the most prominent critics of the move, said he was “astounded” that no representations had been made by the police, given a comprehensive list of assaults and other incidents that had occurred at the restaurant recently.

He said: “That is more than a simple oversight, it is a total abrogation of responsibility and I will be raising it in the strongest possible terms with the new tri-borough commander.

“If this is the way a tri-borough command is going to work, then we don’t want it.”

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