A residents’ group is pursuing its high court bid to challenge strict new licensing rules introduced by Hackney Council last year.
The new rules had included a “core hours policy” setting out closing times of 11pm on weeknights and midnight at weekends, as well as the doubling in size of a Cumulative Impact Zone in Shoreditch – with a presumption that licence applications in this area will be refused.
A High Court judge has granted permission for the We Love Hackney group to pursue a judicial review of the decision. The review would see a judge determine if the authority’s decision-making process was carried out in accordance with the law.
At a judicial review We Love Hackney would present the case that the council failed to consider the impact of the new rules on young people or the late night, independent venues which serve the LGBTQ+ community in the area. It will also argue that councillors were not presented with important information before making their decision.
Matt Sanders, spokesperson for We Love Hackney, said: “This will be particularly difficult for those [venues] that are smaller, independent and more likely to be run by and used by minority groups. The great thing about the night life in Hackney is that there’s something for everybody, it’s really diverse and vibrant. All that, we think, is under threat.
“We hope the whole [hospitality] industry as well as local residents will get behind us. We think it’s the thin edge of the wedge, if this can happen in Hackney it can happen anywhere.”
The next stage of the process will see an application made to the court next week to cap the legal costs of the review, which would allow the group to pursue it without the risk of being presented with an uncapped bill.
The Caterer has contacted Hackney Council for comment.