Residents fear bar will lead to sleepness nights

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:43 05 October 2010

Janet Wade with her petition

Janet Wade with her petition

Carmen Valino

NEARLY 80 people have signed a petition against a bar style restaurant opening in a quiet residential East End area. Residents around Bethnal Green s historic Cyprus Street fear a bar re

By Else Kvist

NEARLY 80 people have signed a petition against a bar style restaurant opening in a quiet residential East End area.

Residents around Bethnal Green's historic Cyprus Street fear a bar reopening on Bonner Street will lead to sleepless nights.

They say the bar, which has been standing empty for three years, has previously had a history of people spilling into the street drinking, dealing in drugs, fighting and urinating against garden walls. There were also problems with parking as people would arrive by car.

Petition organiser Janet Wade, 46, said: "It's mostly families with young children and elderly people round here.

"There's an 80-year-old woman looking after her ill husband living adjacent to the bar and they are getting really distressed about it reopening.

"Some including myself will consider moving if we are kept awake till 11pm at night. Others already moved because of past problems."

But despite Tower Hamlets councillors refusing to extend the bar's opening hours further and give it an alcohol licence, the leaseholders already have permission for a restaurant.

The council, which owns the freehold, says there are no legal grounds to challenge this.

But Janet, an environmental officer for 20 years, said the council has failed to take a coordinated and robust approach.

She said: "They should listen to both the community and leaseholder. The council has not kept us informed about what's happening and have refused to meet with us. "During my time working for other councils I've never experienced anything like it.

"We think it would be better to convert the premises into badly needed family homes, a community centre or day time café."

She suggested the council could make an offer to buy the lease.

Director of Makespace Architects, acting as the leaseholder's agent, Shahed Saleem said: "We understand residents concerns because of the bar's history. But it's going to be a Mediterranean family restaurant, and we hope residents will be pleased once they see that. It will be somewhere people can come and read their Sunday newspapers."

The residents will give a deputation to full council next Wednesday.

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