Hackney Council poised to sign off curfew for new pubs and clubs amid licensing review

Ballie Ballerson in Curtain Road shown in a file image of Shoreditch nightlife. Picture: Polly Hanco

Ballie Ballerson in Curtain Road shown in a file image of Shoreditch nightlife. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A controversial licensing policy is set to be signed off introducing a midnight curfew for new pubs, clubs and bars – unless landlords can convince the council they won’t be a nuisance.

The policy, more than two years in the making, was approved by the licensing committee this month. It was set to be on the agenda for tonight’s full council meeting but has been pulled and will now be voted on at the next one.

We Love Hackney, a 5,000-strong community campaign, successfully saw off plans for an 11pm curfew in 2015 and insists the fresh proposals are still too Draconian.

Plans to limit new venues include: doubling the Shoreditch special policy area (SPA) in size; slapping a 10pm curfew on outdoor activities; and shutting venues at 11pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends.

We Love Hackney says extending the SPA – which essentially makes it harder to open a venue in the area – would be disastrous. “It has already caused stagnation of the nighttime economy and puts Shoreditch’s reputation for innovative and diverse venues at risk,” it said.

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Licensing committee chair Cllr Emma Plouviez said the curfew was not a blanket rule and each application would be considered on its own merit. She said the council needed to support the nighttime economy and the needs of neighbours.

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