'Misery and patience pays off' after landmark nightclub decision (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Funky Mojoe in South Woodford loses landmark appeal against cut to opening hours
A landmark High Court ruling upholding a decision to cut the opening hours of a controversial nightclub could spell the end of the business, it is claimed.
Funky Mojoe in High Road, South Woodford, found out today it would have to abide by a council decision to restrict opening to normal pub hours and pay costs legal costs of £130,000.
The venue will not be allowed to appeal the decision.
It comes after councillors were shown CCTV evidence of serious disturbances outside the venue and neighbours, many of whom are elderly, regularly complained of noise.
Cllr Richard Hoskins said: "We have won on every point. The delayed announcement of the court's judgement made it clear every attempt by Mojoe's to discredit the council’s procedure has failed.
"It is a measure of the court's decision that not only did they throw out the arguments of Mojoe's lawyers, but they also awarded costs against Mojoe's and refused them the right of appeal.
"This decision means residents have now seen three judicial decisions go against Mojoe's and costs awarded against them twice."
It is the first time a nightclub licensing issue has been taken to the High Court for review.
The club will now have to close its doors at 11.30pm at weekends, and 11pm during the week.
Cllr Hoskins continued: "Even Mojoe's, with its bottomless pocket of cash, must be thinking 'is it worth going on'?
"When we started this campaign with residents four years ago we all committed ourselves to the long fight.
"All their hours of misery and patience has paid off. Mojoes has lost. Hopefully they will now quietly fold their tents and move away.”
Iain Duncan Smith has supported residents' calls for action over the nightclub.
He said: “I was very pleased to hear that Funky Mojo’s has lost its appeal against the decision to limit its hours.
"This nightclub has been a real nuisance for residents and something had to be done."
This morning, club licensee Kerry O’Reilly tweeted her thanks to over 900 followers for their support before the decision was announced.
She tweeted: "Thank you for all the messages, a lot have made me cry and realise what lovely people Funky Mojoe has supporting us."
After the decision was announced, she tweeted: "Don't think it has sunk in yet."