Residents have described how alcohol is making their life a “nightmare” at the popular Broadway Market, which has become a destination for eating and drinking.
The street saw a revival in the early noughties and became a popular spot for foodies and people keen to shop at boutique stores.
However residents say they are suffering from anti-social behaviour.
“I am having to move drunks off my step to get into my house, this happens on a very regular basis,” said one, Debbie, at Hackney Council’s licensing sub-committee, which was considering a variation licence application.
The owners of the Broadway Supersaver want to serve alcohol from 9am to 11pm if they transform the shop into a cafe.
Debbie said the anti-social behaviour on the street is making residents’ life a misery: “I’ve just had enough of picking drunks off my steps.”
Every week she has to “throw bleach” over her steps to clear up.
She added: “It’s been a nightmare and it’s getting worse.”
Other residents said the lockdowns had exacerbated the problem.
The supermarket at 51 Broadway Market has applied to serve alcohol at a cafe and tapas bar in a bid to recover from the costs of lockdowns over the last year.
The company said it would put in sound-proofing and, like the residents, did not want to see crime and anti-social behaviour on the street.
“Over Covid, the anti-social behaviour on Broadway Market has worsened, and the noise levels have escalated,” said Dora, who lives there.
She explained: “Over lockdown people congregated at Broadway Market because there’s a park at the end of it they could take their drinks to.
“An additional place serving alcohol is not going to help.”
People talk louder when they drink, she said.
“I am increasingly distressed by noise, l regularly have people urinating on our front gate.”
Satnam Singh is concerned about noise as well as anti-social incidents in the street.
He said: “There is already a sound issue, I can pretty much hear everything – every pin drop, every conversation.”
He added: “The medical centre is next door, their examination room is right next to the shop. There have been complaints they can hear pretty much everything that takes place.”
He said he was worried about “the whole ethos of cumulative premises opening on Broadway Market for longer and longer”, with 17 businesses already offering alcohol.
Beggars also congregate in the street, he said.
The applicants said this “affects our business negatively”. They said they want to contribute to the drop in crime in the area and planned to serve tea and coffee, and would “not be alcohol-led”.
They pointed out that many other venues in the street already serve alcohol, and that with 40 supermakets in a one-mile radius, it was “not viable” to simply run a similar shop.
“Turning the supermarket into a cafe is the only viable way,” said owner Hasan Aybakar. “Everyone’s business is going down at this moment.”
He has also run a fried chicken shop on the street without any problems and has over 15 years’ experience.
“We find it quite ridiculous that objectors are blaming our premises for anti-social behaviour in the area,” said his agent at Eurosafety International.
The agent explained that the outside area would shut at 10pm, with numbers limited to 12 people.
They added: “There has been a gradual decrease in crime over the past year and we want to contribute to that.”
Aybakar said during a recent stabbing incident that his business suffered as people came into his shop and broke bottles of wine.
The licensing committee was told: “They marched into our premises, they have no connection with the premises at all.”
The licensing sub-committee (10 August) will publish its decision within five working days.
Update: this article was amended at 17:07 on 11 August 2021. Drinking is not currently banned at London Fields, as originally stated.