Hackney Council approves controversial curfews on pubs and bars

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hackney Council approves controversial curfews on pubs and bars

Related tags: Licensing, Bar

Hackney Council has approved controversial licensing proposals which place tough restrictions on new pubs, bars and clubs.

The policy suggests imposing a 12pm curfew for businesses during the weekend, and 11pm during the week. Outdoor activities like night markets will also have to close by 10pm.

The council also voted to double the size of the Shoreditch Special Policy Area, which makes it much more difficult for new venues to obtain a license.

We Love Hackney, a local campaign group backed by Street Feast founder Jonathan Downey and Leon co-founder Henry Dimbleby, called the policy “one of the most restrictive licensing regimes in the UK”.

The council said it is not a “blanket policy”, and new operators will have to demonstrate that they are “responsible” and will not have a “negative impact on the area” if they want to open late.

Existing businesses will be exempt from the rules, but there is concern it will prevent new independent venues from opening in one of London’s most diverse and liveliest boroughs.

In an open letter posted on Twitter yesterday, We Love Hackney said the plans will “freeze out” young, local businesses and mean only large chains will be able to set up in the borough.

A majority of local residents opposed the plans. In January over 75% of respondents to a council consultation said they believed proposals would have a negative impact.

Cllr Emma Plouviez, Licensing Committee chair at Hackney Council, said: “We value the borough’s nightlife – it’s one of the things that makes Hackney unique – but we also value our residents’ right to a good night’s sleep.

“Many of them have watched Hackney’s nightlife build up around them; they didn’t choose to live in the middle of a busy area packed with late night venues.

“We need to find a way to support our nightlife to thrive, but we owe it our residents to make sure their concerns are represented too.”

‘Night Czar’ Amy Lame, appointed by the Mayor of London to help the capital thrive as a 24-hour city, has remained relatively quiet on the issue.

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls tweeted that the plans were a cap on "innovation, dynamism and vibrancy".

Related topics: Legislation

Related news


Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more

Featured Suppliers

All suppliers

Free Email Newsletter

Subscribe to BigHospitality

The trusted industry reference point

Get the latest news & analysis from the UK hospitality sector straight to your inbox!