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EXCLUSIVE: Traders in Brick Lane are facing a £20,000 fine if they stay open past midnight thanks to council planning rules.

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Planning officers and police went door-to-door in London’s famous culinary quarter earlier this month serving notices with the news.

Azmal Hussain, 62, owner of Preem Prithi restuarant, was told he must close by 12pm and stop taking orders at 11 or pay the penalty charge.

Mr Hussain, who is also chair of Brick Lane traders association, said the new rules would destroy local businesses.

He said: “A lot of people will be bankrupt. Some are living hand to mouth. My members will go bust.”

Mr Hussain called for a six month suspension of the rules to allow traders to get new licences.

A council spokesman said the police visits were part of a joint effort to reduce anti-social behaviour, and premises that stay open “beyond their approved opening hours” would receive enforcement notices.

He said: “Bar owners and restaurants were reminded of their responsibility to operate within their official opening hours, which are restricted by official planning conditions.”

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