Former store in Leytonstone makes licensing application for new venue

A new late-night restaurant, serving food and drink as late as 2am, may open on the High Road in Leytonstone.

Waltham Forest Council’s licensing committee has received an application for a new venue at 573 High Road, Leytonstone, formerly an off-licence.

Owner Fatmir Disha has asked for permission to open until 2.30am Thursday to Saturday and until midnight for the rest of the week.

He hopes to serve alcohol until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays and 11.30pm all other nights and to provide live or recorded music until late for private events such as birthday parties.

The building was previously occupied by Victoria Food and Wine off-licence, although the company that owned it has since gone into liquidation.

The Metropolitan Police has objected to the application, with PC Darren Brand arguing the area already has “high crime rates” and problems with street drinkers.

He added he was concerned by Mr Disha’s “misleading” statement that the application is only being made to “reinstate” a previous licence for the premises.

He said: “This is misleading as the previous licence was surrendered in January 2018. That licence authorised only off-sales of alcohol. The business traded as a convenience store.

“The new application now seeks a licence to operate as a restaurant, cafe or coffee shop with entertainment. This is a significant change in the proposed application.”

Victoria Food and Wine’s licence only allowed it to sell alcohol until 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30pm on Sundays.

The council’s own licensing officer Marc Witham raised concerns about an outdoor seating area at the back of the building, which plans showed will be separated from the inside by a partition.

He said the licensing enforcement team had concerns about “the lack of detail to advise how music noise will be prevented from disturbing those who live nearby”.

The committee met today to discuss the application but were advised that both police and the licensing enforcement team were currently in negotiations with the applicant.

The police hope to encourage Mr Disha to alter his application by, for example, reducing his proposed hours, while council officers hope to agree conditions to limit noise disturbance.

The committee agreed to adjourn until November 18 to allow time for these negotiations to take place.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter