A THREE-YEAR battle against noise and anti-social behaviour at a controversial nightclub has ended in abject surrender by Redbridge Council according to residents.
Funky Mojoes in High Road, South Woodford, was due to face Redbridge council in the High Court after it appealed against the council’s decision to cut its licensing hours.
In 2008 the council ordered a weekend closing time of 1am, but the club was allowed to keep its 3am closing time until the appeal was heard.
This week the council agreed a 2.30am compromise with the club, denying neighbours their day in court.
Barry Van Loen, 66, who lives opposite the club in Tempus Court said: "It's quite scandalous what they've done. It's disgraceful - we've been let down."
His wife Bernice, 66, added: “This establishment is owned by non-residents and its clientele - in the main - is made up of non-residents, yet local residents have to suffer.”
Redbridge Council insisted that the agreement included stringent new restrictions to combat anti-social behaviour including extra sound-proofing, the introduction of plastic drinking glasses and the employment of more experienced door supervisors.
A spokeswoman for the council said: “As a result of the settlement, important conditions related to safety and noise outside the venue are now being imposed as a condition of the licence. These will be vigorously enforced by council’s enforcement officers.
“Under a new venue manager, stewardship of Funky Mojoe has improved and council lawyers advised that there was no longer enough evidence to secure a further reduction in the opening hours.
“We recognise that some residents are still concerned about the operation of Funky Mojoe and would have wanted to have their say in court. However the council’s legal advisors said we were unlikely to win the case. If the council had lost the appeal, it would have had to pay substantial court costs."
But its decision was condemned by Church End ward councillors who said that the settlement had been reached without any consultation with residents.
Cllr Richard Hoskins said: “It is not a settlement, it is a surrender.
“South Woodford residents have been sold down the river by a council too weak to face Mojoes in court. The miseries that the nightclub’s clients inflict on our neighbourhood will continue.”
Frank Cruder, 66, of Derby Road said: "It was done without telling us, even confidentially. We knew nothing about this which is just plain dreadful."
Mojoes has been asked to comment