Opinion / 6 July, 2015

Leader — Goodbye ‘Destination Hackney’

The Tube gears up to shuttle revellers round-the-clock but if the Council’s new policy is approved, Hackney won’t be going along for the ride

Hackney Citizen crest identity

London is finally getting the hang of the 24-hour city concept.

But as the Tube gears up to shuttle revellers round-the-clock, Hackney Council has all-but-ascertained that London’s ‘coolest’ borough, whose postcodes can be found on Urban Outfitters t-shirts the world over, won’t be coming along for the ride.

A new set of licensing regulations proposed by the council could prevent new bars from staying open past midnight on weekends, or past 11pm from Sunday to Thursday. “Certain types of activity”, like going out for dinner, will be encouraged.

Like a better-behaved sister with a later bedtime, those willing to sit and eat quietly will be granted more leniency — the vintage Malbec will flow freely at new restaurants until 1am. Nice for some.

It seems like it was just yesterday the council was all about ‘Destination Hackney’, making much of the borough’s reputation as a  reveller’s paradise.

But  now  the council is  encouraging the sterilisation that seems inevitable among  droves of new-build flats. We will have a nightlife policy to match the one that turned Soho’s club scene into a shopping mall for al fresco diners.

As with all rules, exceptions will be made. But, the proposals say, “a case has to be made” — and that is sure to be a business case.

This ad-hoc approach leaves just enough room for friendly negotiations with, say, a global hotel chain bringing in a lucrative contract. But for a couple of friends looking to open the next Joiners Arms ? Doubtful.

Nightlife entrepreneurs have been quick out of the gate reacting to the proposals, often furiously.

But the quiet hand of legislation won’t be felt for some time, as leases expire and everyone starts realising there’s nowhere left to party.

The proposals claim to “manage growth” and address the “cumulative impact” of nightlife expansion, but perhaps fail to see the cumulative inevitability that a dying bar scene may make way its way underground, this time with no licensing in sight.

/ 6 July, 2015
  • TheGreatSmellOf Brute

    Social engineering by the Stoke Newington Blairite clique, designed to make NIMBYs, religious happy-clappies, monied incomers and property developers happy at everyone else’s expense.

  • Joe

    Please can they make a rule against puke on Dalstons streets? My daughter and I are tired of stepping over the puddles of vomit on the way to school. I suspect the council has a hard job pleasing the party goers and the residents who fear a Shoreditch / Benidorm vibe taking over

  • Rob

    See this has been up a while but good to see that it is a load of incorrect misinformation regurgitated (something many of those choosing to come to Hackney know about) tosh…

    The outrage of some of the very well heeled bar owners has been to the fore of all the noise in ensuring scare tactics and bullshit is the order of the day over a proposal to just consult people about future licences. It will not mean the death of the economy as no licences are being revoked, just the restriction of new licences to help control and balance the needs of the incomers and money making bar owners with those who live in the Borough.

    As for the Great Smell of Bullshit no, not everyone owns their property and has made squillions from it being a party destination. Many rent, many want a better balance and many just want a voice rather than a tick box to every new late night licence. Turn your stupid vacuous argument around…why should everyone else suffer at the expense of a few drunken twits wanting to ‘parteeeee!!!’.


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