Shisha bar closed down in Poplar after raid by police and Tower Hamlets Council
- Credit: LBTH
A shisha bar operating illegally in Poplar under town planning laws has been shut down after being raided by police and council enforcement officers.
Equipment was seized in the raid near the Blackwall Tunnel, following months of complains from neighbours about noise and anti-social behaviour.
The premises face onto the main East India Dock Road, but has a rear entrance in Follett Street which was being used to enter.
Families in the quiet Follett Street have had to put up with queues of people and cars parking outside their homes.
Many were scared to leave their homes and had to endure loud music and shouting and occasional fights in the street, according to Tower Hamlets Council today.
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“The selfish actions over several months were driven by personal greed,” council planning and building control director Owen Whalley said.
“They were without any consideration for the nightmare to the neighbours. This was is completely unacceptable.”
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Police and council environment officers first went inside the premises in January and confirmed a shisha lounge was operating.
Town hall records showed the single-storey building, two doors along from Poplar Central Mosque, was registered as “a religious assembly hall” which had no planning consent as a lounge.
The local authority served stop and enforcement notices which gave one month to remove all the shisha items from the premises and to halt the unauthorised use as a shisha lounge.
But the two notices were ignored, the council has confirmed.
Activities increased from the premises being open mainly at weekends to operating seven days a week from 4pm to 7am, attracting up to 200 people a night.
Police finally raided the premises with the council’s enforcement teams on April 20 and seized 100 shisha pipes, boxes of shisha burning coals, a coal-burning stove and a large sound system with speakers.
The bar itself was dismantled “to make sure the venue remains closed as a public bar”.
The raid was carried out under the 1990 Town & Country Planning Act, allowing police and council officers to remove items used to run a shisha bar. The council confirmed today that it was considering court action against the owners for breach of notices.