London’s Hackney Clubs in Danger as New Midnight Curfew is Proposed

Hackney Council is looking to make obtaining a license in the borough more difficult following complaints from residents.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

Clubs and shops in Hackney are currently under threat as a newly proposed curfew would see venues in the borough, which is composed of the likes of Shoreditch, Dalston and Hoxton, being forced to close at midnight.

The new rules, which have yet to be enforced, would see venues in the region being forced to close at 11pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends, with the changes being proposed in order to appease complaints from residents in the borough. Councillor Emma Plouviez, who has proposed the new curfew, said that Hackney has lost “the balance between the rights of residents and the rights of businesses.”

However, the proposed new changes would see all new late-night venues applying for a license in the borough being treated on a “case by case basis,” with Plouviez insisting that this wouldn’t bring an end to Hackney’s night life. In a blog post the Councillor wrote: “The vast majority of [new licenses handed out by the Council] are in Dalston and Shoreditch. We’re reaching saturation point and in our view these areas are losing the balance between the rights of residents and the rights of businesses. It’s the Council’s job to try and strike this fair balance around quality of life, and this is why we are proposing changes to the Licensing Policy.

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“It’s true that the night-time economy creates jobs and brings visitors and money to the borough, which is great, but more and more residents who live in areas such as Dalston and Shoreditch are having to contend with people peeing in their gardens, shouting outside their windows at 4am and a host of other antisocial behaviour. Alcohol-related ambulance calls are also on the increase during the evening in these areas, as is the cost to the taxpayer of having to clear up the ever growing piles of litter every weekend.”

While Plouviez insists that this won’t bring an end to Hackney’s night life, it will undoubtedly create new hoops to jump through for venues looking to open up in the borough. Hopefully Plouviez and Hackney Council reach a solution that won’t dampen the borough’s night life, and that this won’t be the next step in ridding London of its identity and character as the rest of the city continues to be slowly eroded away due to gentrification.

Photo: Getty Images