NEIGHBOURS of a notorious ex-night club are threatening legal action if the council lets its new owners open later.

The Grade II-listed building at 159 South Woodford High Road has had a turbulent past.

Former owners Funky Mojoe were forced to leave in 2014 after residents and councillors fought a £200,000 legal battle over late-night noise and violence at the venue.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Neighbours and councillors fought a long and expensive legal battle to oust former owners Funky Mojoe 

It was then re-opened as fine-dining establishment The Woodford in 2016, but customers were chucked out and the restaurant closed for good in February this year over claims bills had not been paid.

Next week new owners LDN Grill are appealing to Redbridge Council to let them open until midnight Sunday to Thursday and 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

The “restaurant and cocktail bar” is defiant customers will not be served alcohol unless they are booked in for a meal, but neighbours are still highly concerned, especially for those living in sheltered accommodation for the elderly next door.

Writing on behalf of residents in Tempus Court, Daniel Shrier said: “For many years the residents of South Woodford have been fighting to prevent the re-emergence of late-night noise and disturbance.

“Neighbours have made it crystal clear there is no room in this quiet residential area for late-night licences.

“£200,000 of tax payer’s money was spent in the High Court so that residents could continue to enjoy a peaceful existence and maintain the right to relax in their own homes.

“Should this licence be granted we will seek the help of our MP and ensure this matter is pushed through the court system until once again justice prevails.”

Manager at retirement accommodation Manor Court Lodge Maureen Gilbey added: “The people of Manor Court were subjected to years of anti-social behaviour from this building when it was Funky Mojoe, which was initially presented in the exact same way as the LDN Grill – as a bar and restaurant.

“But we endured stabbings and all manner of disgusting behaviour, including people urinating and defecating in front of our gates.

“We cannot allow this type of behaviour to return.”

Director of the Tempus Residents’ Association Barry Van Loen also urged the council not to “allow a repeat of the past which brought so much misery to the local community.”

Owners claim they have taken steps to minimise disturbance, including installing a sound limiting device, keeping all windows closed after 9pm, and keeping to a strict age check policy on entry and alcohol sales.

But Church End Cllrs Emma Best, Tom McLaren, and MP Iain Duncan Smith have also branded the LDN licence bid inappropriate for a “cumulative impact zone” like South Woodford.

As well as keeping people awake at night, the politicians fear the new venue could take away much-needed police officers from George Lane.

LDN Grill has been contacted for comment.

The final decision will be made at a meeting at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford at 10.30am next Wednesday (July 19).