A restaurant has been fined thousands of pounds after being used as a shisha lounge without permission.

Tamak Lounge, in Creek Road, Barking ignored enforcement notices and continued operating as a shisha venue despite being warned by Barking and Dagenham Council in August 2021.

The authority's planning enforcement team explained that the change of use to a shisha venue required planning permission.

This prompted two retrospective applications from Tamak Lounge and an appeal, all of which were refused.

By June 2022 a planning enforcement notice was issued, the council said, ordering the venue to stop using the premises as a restaurant and shisha lounge within three months.

However, by September 2023, environmental enforcement officers found evidence that smoking shisha was still ongoing in enclosed areas.

Company directors Imran Bakth of Cobden Walk, Basildon, and Mohammed Tahmid of Morgan Street, Bow were called to Barkingside Magistrates Court on May 21.

Both men pleaded guilty to offences of failing to comply with the enforcement notice under the Town & Country Planning Act and smoking in an enclosed area under the Health Act.

Each man was fined £293, plus £200 in costs to Barking and Dagenham Council, and a victim surcharge of £117.

The business Tamal Ltd was also slapped with a £5,000 fine and additional council costs, bringing the total ordered payment to £7,020.