Shoreditch licensees fear new residents' complaints

Related tags Local residents Complaint License London borough of hackney

Licensees in London's Shoreditch fear they will suffer at the hands of local residents when the new Licensing Act comes into force.The vibrant...

Licensees in London's Shoreditch fear they will suffer at the hands of local residents when the new Licensing Act comes into force.

The vibrant night-time economy of the fashionable part of East London is under threat from new residents moving into the area, say operators. A small number of local people are complaining about noise and other issues related to the previously run-down area.

Local pub owner Vicki Pengilley says she fears that complaining local residents could bring an end to the late-night economy in Shoreditch.

She has owned the Bricklayers Arms in Charlotte Street for 21 years. However, within the last year the pub has suffered from complaints from new local residents over issues such as noise. Ms Pengilley fears that things are likely to get worse for licensees when the Licensing Act comes into force.

She said: "Loads of people have moved into the area because of the night-time economy. I am gobsmacked as the law is now on their side.

"We are trying to meet with the residents and are finding them very hostile. I am not here to upset them, we just want to work together. But with the new licensing laws the residents are aware of their new powers to complain."

The pub even placed a poster in the window warning "Think before you buy. This area has a busy, noisy night-time economy" but took it down after a resident who lives opposite the pub complained.

Ms Pengilley says she will not be applying to vary her licence or extend her hours because she knows she will have to deal with opposition.

The Bedroom Bar nearby on Rivington Street was also forced to put up signs after estate agents lied to people, saying it was a quiet area to move into.

Noel Faulkner, owner of the Bedroom Bar, said: "The council will give planning permission to build residential property near a venue. It baffles me how people can move to an area and not do their homework."

A spokeswoman for Hackney Council said it was keen to balance the needs of businesses and local residents. She said: "The council aims to balance the need to protect this economy, while recognising that over-development would be problematic."

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