Revoke Funky Mojoe’s licence or reduce its opening hours, says Redbridge Council’s head of enforcement

The licence of South Woodford nightclub Funky Mojoe should be revoked or its opening hours reduced, according to the head of Redbridge Council’s community protection and enforcement service.

And the decision to do so could “already be a foregone conclusion”, according to the solicitor representing the venue.

The licensing authority has prepared a case against the nightspot in High Road ahead of a licence hearing on April 18 following complaints from residents and two serious fights in January and February.

The venue can stay open until 2.30am on Saturdays and Sundays but “nothing short of revocation [of the licence] or failing that, a significant reduction in the terminal hour”, will “alleviate the very serious issue of public nuisance and crime and disorder that result from Funkymojoe’s operation”, according to Alan Drake.

But David Dadds, a partner in firm Dadds which will represent the nightclub, has said there is “no more” of an issue with Funky Mojoe “than any other licensable premises”.

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He said: “Persons walking away from other licensed premises in the town centre contribute to noise.”

On January 27, a man received facial injuries and a damaged eye socket during a brawl inside and outside the club which drew in other patrons, according to Pc Alan Felix, a Redbridge Police licensing officer.

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Police also haven’t yet established whether a man hit by a car “travelling at speed on the wrong carriageway” was targeted as part of the fights or not, added Mr Felix.

And on February 16, he said two men had a fight outside the club and one was left with a broken ankle bone exposed.

The police say steps including a suspension of the licence and a change in the hours should be considered.

Resident Lynda Edwards, a resident of Manor Court Lodge, a gated retirement complex which neighbours the club, said there have been fights on “numerous occasions” .

She added: “These have not only scared me but have also disturbed me from enjoying the comfort of my home.”

Mr Dadds told the Recorder: “[Redbridge] Council may have already made their mind up given the lead officer of the council, the council generally and the licensing authority all want what the local MP [Iain Duncan Smith] wants, which is to remove the licence from a lawful legitimate business next to a senior citizen complex.”

He said monitoring equipment had been installed to measure the impact of noise on Manor Court Lodge, the neighbouring retirement complex, and “little or no noise has been witnessed”.

He added: “But likewise, it must be accepted that if you buy a sheltered retirement home on a public high street next to a late night venue with other licensed premises in the vicinity, and the road is a main thoroughfare from the town centre, then from time to time there will be noise.

“This is about a balance being struck between residents and businesses.”

The club is able to satisfy the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder and public nuisance under its current licence, according to Mr Dadds.

The club’s manager is not willing to speak to the Recorder.

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