THE FATE of a controversial late-night milkshake bar will be decided at a meeting next week, after residents objected strongly to its plans to stay open into the early hours of the morning.

The owners of Cakes and Shakes in Woodford Green High Road have applied to open until 11pm on weekdays and 2am at weekends, prompting fears that groups of youngsters will congregate at the premises until late at night and cause a nuisance in the local area.

Almost 40 people living near the shop have voiced concerns ahead of the council meeting on Thursday, June 10, saying that the longer hours will bring more anti-social behaviour and litter to the area, and that the establishment has already affected their quality of life since it opened last month.

Frank Cruder, chairman of the Chelmsford and Derby Road Neighbourhood Watch, will speak on behalf of the group's members at the meeting.

Mr Cruder, 66, said: “We believe that if the council allowed these premises to stay open until 2am would be a disaster to this residential area, and would attract the wrong type of young people and therefore causing anti-social behaviour just as occurred at the store when it opened in Loughton.

“This late license would only create more nuisance and threaten the safety within the community, we need to protect our children from harm, and we believe it would create crime and disorder, and we believe it could disrupt public safety and would create a public nuisance.

Claire Gibson, of Chelmsford Road, said: “My partner and I regularly experience problems with anti-social behaviour carried out (around the area of)Funky Mojoes and have had to call the police on countless occasions to disperse fights and disturbances outside our flat.

“The same problem is likely to happen with the Cakes and Shakes premises, with people milling around late at night after the place has shut and causing noise and nuisance for local residents.”

“I would also argue that is not in the interests of Cakes and Shakes expected clientèle to have them closing at a similar time to the local nightclub.”

The businesses' owners already have another branch in Loughton High Road, which was met with similar controversy when it opened in February last year, as well as one in Gants Hill.

Dozens of residents have demanded that councillors throw out plans, saying they could see an increase in crime, threaten the safety of the young people using the roads in the area – which have seen three fatalities in the last two years – and because of the possible disturbance to local residents.

The Guardian is awaiting a response from Cakes and Shakes.