South Woodford residents in favour of zone which would ease licensing problems

Emotions ran high at a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the possible introduction of a Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ) in South Woodford.

The CIZ would give extra power to licensing panels making it harder for establishments selling alcohol to open in the area.

More than 40 residents came to Sir James Hawkey Hall in Broomhill Road, Woodford Green to give their views on the proposal and speak about problems they have experienced with premises including nightclub Funky Mojoe and takeaway Kebabland, both in High Road.

Alan Drake, head of community protection at Redbridge Council gave a presentation outlining the plan, which he said if passed, is likely come into force in December.

Mr Drake said: “A CIZ would reverse the burden on the committees because the applicant will have to show why they should be granted a licence.

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“It’s not about need but the impact the premises would have on the area.”

Other powers to control problems would include CCTV, temporary closure of premises, licence reviews, dispersal order and fixed penalty notices.

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A public consultation afterwards turned in a mass argument after two residents voiced differing views about the conduct of nightclub Funky Mojoe.

Church End ward Cllr Richard Hoskins stepped in to calm things down insisting everyone should be given a chance to speak.

However there was unanimous support for a CIZ with all residents voting in favour of it.

Frank Cruder of Chelmsford Road said: “I think it will very good for Church End ward if it goes ahead because there are a number of establishments wanting late licences.

“The sooner it is implemented the better.”

Louis Alves of Eastwood Road, South Woodford added: “This is a very good idea and scheme but we must be assured that you will be there for us in the short term.”

Chairman of the licensing committee Cllr Ruth Clark highlighted the success of a CIZ in Ilford which prevented a nightclub from opening.

Church End ward is has the second largest number of licensed premises in the borough with 27 establishments which includes 18 restaurants, four pubs, four bars and one night club.

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