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Boxpark Shoreditch dubbed ‘boozepark’ by angry neighbours

PUBLISHED: 19:00 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:53 02 June 2017

Boxpark, Shoreditch. Picture: James Mitchell/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Boxpark, Shoreditch. Picture: James Mitchell/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Boxpark Shoreditch’s bid to expand its alcohol offering has been met with fierce objections from neighbours – who have dubbed it “Boozepark”.

Council licensing papers show bosses at the “pop-up” venue in Bethnal Green Road want to hold events in more first-floor units once they become vacant.

But 20 people who live nearby have written lengthy objections. One said Boxpark had told people there would be no licensed premises, but “literally within weeks” they started appearing.

He said: “Over the past few years the streets immediately around Boxpark have become a nightly and out-of-control street festival with extremely noisy bands, buskers and drunken marauding revellers who them boisterously invade our neighbourhood shouting, urinating with often fights and disturbances breaking out.

“This deterioration of behaviour is in direct relation to the increase of licensed premises being granted at Boxpark.”

Another said the venue was now known locally as “boozepark”. Someone else added: “What is sad is that Boxpark, with it’s original intention as a ‘high end retail park’, could have been an asset to Shoreditch and it’s community.

“But instead it has swiftly plummeted downmarket to become a huge, noisy beer tent that bombards the surrounding neighbourhood with very loud music and attracts heavy drinkers.”

Another said the fact that some of the venue is in Hackney and some in Tower Hamlets creates problems. They said: “It is a Kafkaesque and demoralising situation when the Hackney noise department reminds you, a day or more later after reporting an issue, that you are NOT IN THE BOROUGH... it is no wonder people give up complaining and simply give up and leave.”

Boxpark CEO Roger Wade has hit back. He said he has offered to swap the 15 alcohol licences for one single licence which will “allow the local authority increased powers to control any issues”.

He added: “Boxpark has also consulted extensively with the police and community groups. We have incorporated the majority of their comments within our new license including surrendering our existing event license to reduce any potential noise concerns.

“Some local residents have insisted on a no noise clause. We offered a no noise nuisance and they refused. Unfortunately a no noise clause is not workable. We are disappointed that some local residents have not understood or supported our new application and we will continue to work with the local community to listen and resolve their concerns.

“On a final note, Boxpark has an impeccable security and safety record, and we have had no major alcohol or event related incidents at Boxpark since opening. It is clearly unfair to blame Boxpark for any or all alcohol related incidents that happen within Shoreditch. The reality is Shoreditch has a thriving nighttime economy and local residents need to engage positively with local operators to come to the fair and reasonable solutions.”

Councillors will decide on the application on Tuesday afternoon.

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