Controversial nightclub late licence bids rejected

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Nightclub rejected late licence on four occastions Nightclub rejected late licence on four occastions

A controversial nightclub which had its hours cut over crime and anti-social behaviour was denied permission to open late on four nights this month, it has emerged.

Funky Mojoe, in High Road, South Woodford, applied for temporary event licences for six nights, but was only allowed to stay open late on December 20 and 21.

The other dates - December 6, 7, 13 and 14 – were not considered ‘seasonal’, according to licensing committee meeting minutes published this week.

The club is permitted to stay open until 12.30am on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, and 3am for new-year celebrations without having to apply for a special licence.

It has also emerged that the club has on average attracted about half its capacity of 585 customers since closing times were restricted to 11.30pm, after the venue lost an appeal last month.

The minutes of the licensing committee meeting on December 3 show Funky Mojoe had offered to reduce the capacity of the venue and prevent the use of a smoking area after midnight.

Under the terms of the temporary licences, the club must operate with a capacity of 275.

Reacting to the news, Cllr Richard Hoskins said: “While we would certainly have hoped for no more early morning closing and anti-social behaviour, we can understand why the committee allowed limited extra hours in what is a special time of year.

“It is Christmas. Hopefully there will not be repeats of earlier problems when customers simply turned up at Mojoe’s to continue the drinking they appeared to have been enjoying earlier in the day.”

The club is set to stay open until 1.30am on December 20 and 21.

Opening times at Funky Mojoe were reduced after what was described as overwhelming evidence that it had become “a magnet” for crime.

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