There are growing fears that granting a late-night licence to a North London chicken shop could lead to further crime after police were called to a serious assault outside the venue. Chicken Land in Queensbury wants to stay open until midnight but concerns have been raised that this could compromise public safety.
The fast food shop, on Queensbury Station Parade in Edgware, currently opens between 10am and 11pm seven days a week. It has applied to Brent Council for a late night refreshment licence, which would allow it to continue operating until midnight every evening.
Both the local councillor and the Metropolitan Police have highlighted issues of crime and disorder in the area as reasons to refuse the application. Queensbury councillor, Kanta Mistry, fears her objection “will fall on deaf ears” but felt it was important to register her concerns.
In a letter to council officers, Cllr Mistry said: “We have been tackling anti-social issues and firearms issues in the Queensbury area and if this becomes a late-night weekday economy, I fear for the public safety of our residents and especially the young children who are so vulnerable and easily influenced.”
She added: “We are laying temptations for young people to stay out late especially businesses such as Chicken Land are tempting fast-food outlets frequented mostly by the younger population. There will be inevitable noise and public nuisance incidents. Our Safer Neighbourhood Teams are already stretched and having to deal frequently with issues.”
The police were called to the venue after a “serious assault” took place in May, it started off inside the shop before spilling out onto the street. This resulted in officers determining that granting the application “is detrimental to the council’s licensing objectives” – specifically the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, and the prevention of public nuisance.
The subsequent police investigation at the premises also revealed that Chicken Land was already staying open past 11pm “on a regular basis” and was advertising this on the internet without the necessary licence. A report by the visiting officer said: “When I spoke to the two managers at the venue they initially lied and denied selling hot food past [11pm]. When I then explained that I had just viewed their CCTV which confirmed they were lying, there was no remorse or apologies from these two men.”
The application will go before Brent Council’s alcohol and entertainment licensing sub-committee on Thursday, August 3, where a decision on whether or not to give the plan the go ahead will be decided.