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Becontree café owner denied midnight opening hours to avoid disturbing neighbours

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 August 2020

Members of Barking and Dagenham Council's licensing sub-committee rejected a bid to keep H&Q Café Shop open until midnight seven days a week. Picture: Ken Mears

Members of Barking and Dagenham Council's licensing sub-committee rejected a bid to keep H&Q Café Shop open until midnight seven days a week. Picture: Ken Mears

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A businessman has been denied permission to open his café until midnight over fears it will disturb care home neighbours.

Bekim Hyseni wanted H&Q Café Shop, Bennetts Castle Lane, Dagenham to open till midnight seven days a week and sell alcohol until 11pm.

But while Becontree ward’s councillors welcomed the business, they raised concerns about noise from revellers in the back garden upsetting residents “a few paces away” at Bennetts Castle Care Home.

Anti-social behaviour from punters using seating at the front of the premises was another concern, a report notes.

However, Mr Hyseni – speaking at a licensing sub-committee meeting on August 14 – said the care home is 200 metres away.

“We are in difficult times in the pandemic. It’s taking me longer to open the doors. I’m struggling already. The rear garden is walled. We are not going to disturb
anyone.

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“Inside the premises are very small. If we can’t use the garden until a certain time, we will struggle big time. I won’t make anything even though I invested heavily in this place. I will not make any money at all.

“I’m here to do business. I have no reason to make trouble in this community,” Mr Hyseni added.

Cllr Edna Fergus argued that extending the café’s licence beyond the hours of 10pm had the potential to disrupt some of the borough’s “most vulnerable” people.

“We support the growth and development of small businesses within Becontree ward, but as local ward councillors we must also balance the rights of our most vulnerable residents,” she said.

Her views were echoed by Cllr Muhammad Saleem who raised concerns about the health and wellbeing of neighbours whose sleep could be disturbed by punters leaving late at night.

Cllr Evelyn Carpenter said councillors wanted a “good quality” eatery in the ward, but called for the hours to be restricted.

The meeting heard the café could end up becoming a bar if the food offering doesn’t go down so well. However, Mr Hyseni argued his business is not a bar or club, would be strict on where people could drink and was there for locals. The committee gave permission for the business to trade from 6am to 11pm and sell alcohol from 10am until 10.30pm.


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