Redbridge Council has refused to allow a takeaway to open later after residents objected.
Bim’s, in Ilford Lane, Ilford, asked the council’s licensing sub-committee for permission to stay open until midnight from Sunday to Thursday and 1am on Friday and Saturday at a meeting on July 24.
People living nearby, some of whom spoke at the meeting, claimed the restaurant has caused issues with littering and anti-social behaviour, which they said would get worse if it opened later.
They also alleged the restaurant breached its current licence by staying open well into the evening, until 4.30am on one occasion.
The owners, however, maintain they complied with everything asked of them by the council’s enforcement team, including paying for a litter bin outside their shop.
Regarding their decision, the committee wrote: “The refusal of the applicant to accept any responsibility for the activities of his customers outside of the premises gives us no confidence that this licence can be granted without undermining the licensing objectives.
“It is quite apparent that what little has been done to address public nuisance and anti-social behaviour has been done reluctantly and there remains a belief that efforts by local authority enforcement officers to address the concerns of local residents amounts to an unreasonable and unlawful interference with the business.”
They added that they “take very seriously” the fact that the applicant has been open late into the night without the proper licence, adding that this is a criminal offence.
At the meeting, the business’ lawyer argued that the council “has a responsibility” to keep the area clear, rather than the business.
He said: “If Bim’s was not there, there would be no difference to crime in Ilford Lane.
“Police have always attended Ilford Lane frequently, if there was a hairdresser or a supermarket, crime would still be happening in the area.
“The applicant has done all the things that the enforcement team has asked them to do.”
One of the business’ owners was keen to stress that they had co-operated with council officers when approached, even paying for a public litter bin outside their shop.
He said: “If we are busy, it’s because the community like what we are doing. You can’t ask a business not to be busy.
“It’s not only about the money, it’s about providing something different to the community.”
The business has posters displayed which warn customers not to engage in anti-social behaviour, although residents argued they have not worked.
The restaurant will continue to operate at its current hours, closing at 11pm. A spokesperson is expected to provide a statement tomorrow.