Ilford takeaway granted late licence

An Ilford takeaway will finally be allowed to open later after spending almost half a year going back and forth with Redbridge Council.

BIM’s, a popular burger restaurant, appeared before the council’s licensing committee for the third time this year on November 23.

The owners asked for permission to extend their normal closing time from 11pm until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays and midnight all other days.

Despite objections from 22 people, including three councillors, the council decided to allow the takeaway to open one hour later, until midnight, on Fridays and Saturdays only.

The takeaway in Ilford Lane made headlines in October, after the introduction of the Government’s COVID curfew, when it was fined £1,000 for serving a customer four minutes past 10pm.

Residents told the council they were worried allowing the restaurant to open later would increase noise, anti-social behaviour and litter in the area.

At the takeaway’s first appearance before the council in July, resident Linda Speedwell told the owners: “You are responsible for the issues caused in this area for the local community.

“Having the late licence will encourage anti-social behaviour, littering and people playing music in their cars late at night.

“If you can’t handle those issues now, how are you going to handle it when you open later?”

Council enforcement officer Priya Cheema added: “Allowing further premises to have a late licence is only going to have a detrimental impact on the area.

“I do not think it is fair on the residents to deal with that and have to put up with this public nuisance in front of their doorstep.”

At the first meeting with the council in July, owner Karim Zigheche said the business needed to open later so it could cope with the financial impact of COVID.

His lawyer added that the business has “done all the things that the enforcement team has asked them to do”, including paying for a litter bin outside the shop.

When this first bid failed, BIM’s successfully applied for a “temporary event notice”, allowing it to stay open later for just one weekend, as a “trial run” to prove there would be no issues.

At this meeting in September, the business’ lawyer said: “This is a very, very professional business. You could not distinguish this restaurant, in my opinion, from a McDonald’s or a KFC.

“Ilford Lane is a busy road, it’s not a leafy suburb, it’s an extension of the town. The hours we are asking for are not unreasonable.”

BIM’s was contacted for comment on their successful application but has yet to respond.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter