The east London borough’s council had previously put plans in place to introduce the levy from 1 June, but has now backtracked.
The Morning Advertiser (MA) understands a legal challenge made against the late-night levy by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and other parties has delayed its implementation.
A local council spokesperson agreed the delay could have been caused by legal action from the ALMR, Poppleston Allen, Sarah Clover of Kings Chambers Birmingham and Charles Streeten of Francis Taylor Buildings.
Recommencing in the coming days
The Council has now restarted the consultation on introducing the levy and this will run until 23 August with any feedback given in the previous consultation needing to be resubmitted.
Tower Hamlets Council still plans to introduce the levy, but it will now not be able to implement it until 1 January 2018.
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) had issued a legal challenge to the introduction of the levy and the association’s chief executive Kate Nicholls hailed the delayed implementation.
“The ALMR will be scrutinising any further action by the council and will forcefully oppose any measures that heap additional costs on hardworking venues and threaten jobs and investment in eating and drinking out businesses,” Nicholls said.
The proposed levy would see alcohol retailers that serve alcohol between midnight and 6am in Tower Hamlets contribute to the cost of local policing.
British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Brigid Simmonds welcomed the delay, but also urged the council to have a “fundamental rethink of the policy”.
Simmonds added the BBPA would like to see a voluntary partnership between local authorities and businesses, as was recently recommended by a House of Lords review of the Licensing Act, introduced in Tower Hamlets.