‘Problems will spread’: Kentish Town residents prevail in row over late hours for fast food joint

New Milano Pizza on Kentish Town Road

A takeaway in Kentish Town has been given a licence to serve food with reduced hours after pushback from campaigners.

New Milano Pizza and Gourmet Burgers on Kentish Town Road secured a licence to serve late-night hot food and non-alcoholic drinks.

The fast food outlet, which is located next to The Abbey Tavern pub, asked to sell food until 2am seven days a week – an extension from its current 11pm close, which does not require a licence.

However, Camden Council’s licensing panel granted hours from Monday to Sunday until midnight only.

The application attracted objections from residents, including ward councillor Meric Apak and campaigners from Kentish Town Road Action group due to concern over noise, disorder and nuisance.

Caroline Hill, chair of Kentish Town Road Action, said she didn’t want the problems of Camden Town to “spread to Kentish Town.”

Both Hill and Cllr Apak urged the licensing committee to not grant the opening hours until 2am because they were much later than the usual framework hours for most establishments on the road, where flats are located above businesses.

Hill said granting such late hours would “open the gate for similar applications”.

The framework hours without alcohol in the area are Monday to Thursday until 11.30pm, Friday and Saturday until midnight, and Sunday until 10.30pm.

“The framework hours are there for a very good reason – to maintain peaceful and safe night for its residents,” Hill said.

She claimed residents would be disturbed by noise from customers “hanging around” and delivery drivers picking up pizza orders.

Cllr Apak, who has lived around 150 metres from the establishment since 1986, said he was particularly worried over anti-social behaviour and noise, including late-night revellers “making a pit stop” at New Milano if 2am hours were approved.

The applicant defended the plan, saying they’ve “never had any incidents of nuisance” requiring the police, issues with drunkenness or shouting and many of their customers are key workers from the nearby hospital.

The manager of New Milano said that after 11pm, the restaurant stops taking delivery orders through apps like Deliveroo and Uber Eats and instead uses its own drivers, which reduces the number of people waiting and talking outside.

“We are feeding some of the families who are living in the area and can’t cook themselves. Some of those families are students, nurses, doctors and even some homeless who approach us,” he said.

Alongside the licensed hours until midnight, the licensing committee placed conditions agreed by the police, including a requirement to have CCTV.

The licence-holder should also “endeavour to eliminate or reduce any nuisance” caused by the business.

On top of that, delivery drivers will have to park and switch off engines and wait to be summoned for order collection.

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