Green Lanes clubs still “causing misery” for residents
06:30 09 November 2012
Calls for more action over Green Lanes
A year after the police gave Turkish members-only clubs in Green Lanes a deadline to “get their house in order” or face legal action, residents say they are still making their lives a misery.
They claim antisocial and lawless behaviour is rife along the 800 metre stretch leading from Newington Green up Green Lanes, where around 17 such clubs are concentrated.
Many of the clubs breach planning and licensing regulations by opening 24 hours a day and illegally using gaming machines.
Residents claim they regularly witness drug dealing and illegal parking on double yellow lines is also a problem.
Last year Sgt Sue Wright of the Clissold safer neighbourhood team (SNT) told the Gazette they believed the breaches were down to ignorance, and Hackney’s 36 Turkish club owners had been given a grace period of six months to “get their house into order.”
But Hackney Council is still pursuing enforcement investigations against nine social clubs there.
Around 30 people attended a full meeting of Hackney Council to back a deputation brought by Matthew Reynolds, as he called on the council to take proactive steps to improve the area.
“There have been two shooting associated with premises on the street, and a firebombing,” said the father of four, who lives behind one of the clubs in Burma Road, backing onto an alleyway where his teenage neighbour witnessed a prostitute engaged in a lewd act with a client.
Mr Reynolds praised the council’s efforts to improve the street by investing in paving, but called on them to assign a designated officer to work with businesses and landlords to market Green Lanes as a vibrant and diverse high street.
Cllr Wendy Mitchell who introduced the deputation believes the situation has improved since last year.
“My understanding is that the planning enforcement the council has undertaken has led to some closures, but the process can be slow in this respect because of the statutory powers,” she said.
Following the deputation Cllr Guy Nicholson, cabinet member for regeneration has agreed to meet with residents to discuss their concerns further.
A police spokeswoman said no complaints of anti-social behaviour in the area have been lodged within the last six months, and the Clissold SNT patrols the area every week.
Anyone with concerns should call the team on 0208 721 2923 or email Clissold.SNT@met.police.uk