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Plans for a clampdown on Brick Lane boozers

PUBLISHED: 12:38 29 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:06 29 January 2013

Brick Lane is well known for its night-time economy

Brick Lane is well known for its night-time economy

Archant

A clampdown on the explosion of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs in Brick Lane could be enforced by council chiefs, because residents say drunken revellers leave them “under siege in their own homes”.

Residents say they are kept awake all night and frequently find pools of urine, vomit, and even human excrement outside their houses, as well as broken glass and litter strewn across their street.

There are already more than 200 licensed premises in Brick Lane, which is one of the capital’s major nightlife hotspots.

Now Tower Hamlets Council bosses are suggesting they designate the area a “saturation zone”, which will give them greater powers to reject licensing applications and curtail the amount of venues selling alcohol.

Mum-of-two Selina Mifsud, who lives in Fournier Street off Brick Lane, welcomed the proposals and said: “Lack of toilet facilities means drunk visitors to Brick Lane regularly urinate - and even defecate - in residents’ front doorways.

“I recently returned home to find someone had urinated through my front doorway, the urine trickling through my hall into my kitchen below, where it had pooled on my worktop where I prepare food.

“Residents feel increasingly helpless and frustrated - under siege in their own homes from the anarchic and threatening environment outside.”

And 55-year-old Mark Lancaster, who lives in Brick Lane, said he has often witnessed antisocial behaviour by revellers.

“They can be foul-mouthed and abusive and even threaten violence if you remonstrate with them,” he said. “I am not against people having a good time. I like the nice side of the Brick Lane party atmosphere - it is only the irresponsible club, off-licence and restaurant owners that are to blame.”

There will be a public consultation on the proposed saturation zone policy, which will not affect the licensed premises already in Brick Lane.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ohid Ahmed, said: “The council is committed to improving Brick Lane for those who visit, work and live in the area. A saturation zone policy will help towards creating a safer environment.”

• Residents can have their say, in the consultation that runs until March 22, at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/consultation. There is also a public consultation event on Wednesday, February 13, at Toynbee Hall, Commercial Street, Whitechapel, at 6.30pm.


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