Hackney Council approves controversial licensing policy

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  • Last night, councillors voted unanimously in favour of the plan, which will force new venues to be shut by 12 AM on weekends.
  • Hackney Council approves controversial licensing policy image
  • Hackney Council has approved a controversial licensing policy that will enforce "core" curfews for all new clubs, bars and pubs. The vote, which took place last night, was unanimously in favour of the policy, which has proven unpopular with both local tenants and stakeholders. It rules that all new venues will automatically adhere to a strict curfew of 11 PM on weekdays and 12 AM on weekends. To extend the license, venue owners will have to prove that the extension won't cause any anti-social behaviour issues. "This is a disgraceful decision and a shameful failure of elected officials to listen to the views of residents," said founder of Street Feast Jonathan Downey. "It is disastrous for the life and vibrancy of Hackney nightlife. This is not over though and we will not be ignored." Councillor Emma Plouviez helped draft the policy. "The onus will be on new applicants to demonstrate they are responsible, understand the pressures on the area and that their business will not have a negative impact on the area if they want to open late. We will help and support them to do that." She continues: "Without these steps we face a potential situation where the licensing committee could be forced to approve late licences for venues that are completely unsuitable and will have a huge impact on residents' lives." Mayor Phil Glanville, who Downey said "ignored" his repeated requests for a meeting, insisted the policy would not damage Hackney's "creative and dynamic nightlife." He added that he's been discussing the plan with London mayor Sadiq Khan and Night Czar Amy Lamé for the past year. A spokesperson from Khan's office told Resident Advisor that "Amy has asked for an urgent meeting with Hackney Council to discuss this issue." As well as the curfews, the Shoreditch Special Policy Area (SPA) will double in size, which will make it much harder for new venues to open. We Love Hackney, a local group that's been campaigning hard against the policy, called the plans "some of the toughest restrictions on nightlife in Britain." Read We Love Hackney's open letter to Hackney Council, published yesterday.
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