Hackney Council has unanimously approved plans that will tightly restrict new nightlife spots in the borough.
Rife with pub and club brilliance and heritage, it comes as no surprise that Hackney dwellers gave the idea a big thumbs down. In a consultation about imposing midnight curfews on new Hackney venues, 73 percent of replies were opposed to the plans. Despite that, councillors voted to implement the policy, which will see new nightlife institutions closing at 11pm on a weekday and midnight at the weekend. Should any of these new venues want to open later, they’ll have to be able to demonstrate to Hackney Council that they won’t create anti-social behaviour.
Originally suggested as a way to create a harmonious and non-disruptive Hackney, this idea is far from new. Shoreditch has operated a ‘Special Policy Area’ since 2015, where many venues already operate under a curfew. That existing policy area is expected to broaden as a result of these new plans.
Sadiq Kahn’s first appointed Night Czar, Amy Lamé, has faced criticism following the announcement, with some commentators suggesting that she is not carrying out her role in helping to preserve London nightlife. Following the controversy, Lamé tweeted that she has called for an emergency meeting with the mayor of Hackney. Lamé was included in consultation over the council’s plan but did not comment on the policy until after it was adopted last week.
The controversial announcement has also been the catalyst for a protest that will take place on July 27 outside Hackney Town Hall.
While venues such as The Last Days of Shoreditch prepare to close their doors, and worries grow that the proposed plans will hinder creativity in the borough, existing Hackney nightlife meccas should continue to thrive, since the new restrictions are currently only applicable for new venues.
Pic credit: Alan Denney