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Nag’s Head food hall ‘a recipe for disaster’

‘I’ve had my window smashed six times by drunks,’ says neighbour opposing plan to sell booze in unused area of market

04 January, 2019 — By Emily Finch

Nag’s Head Market in Holloway. Picture: Panoramio

OPPONENTS of a new food market have warned “it’s a recipe for disaster” amid fears of late-night disturbance.

Plans to sell alcohol in an unused area of Nag’s Head Market in Holloway will go before council licensing officials on Tuesday, with councillors having the final say on the future of the space.

The initial application, submitted to the council in November, included a request to play live and recorded music in the upstairs section of the market in Seven Sisters Road until 12.30am at the weekend.

A new application has removed the request to play all types of music. But ward councillor Gary Heather, who has called for the council to reject the plans, believes that music can still be played until 11pm without a licence.

He said: “It’s not really a compromise.”

Ann Devine, a former civil servant who lives nearby, said: “We are still not happy and we are not very impressed by the changes. I’ve had my window smashed six times in recent years by drunk people walking home.

“The new market is a recipe for disaster if alcohol is sold there.”

Ward councillor Gary Heather says a revised licence bid for the unused area of Nag’s Head Market ‘is not really a compromise’

Under the new licence bid, sale of alcohol to be consumed off the premises would be cut by three hours, ending at 8pm. But alcohol could be sold to be consumed on the premises until midnight at the weekend and until 11pm on other nights.

Ms Devine, who lives in Hertslet Road, has called for the space to be transformed into an educational hub for youngsters at risk of joining gangs. She said: “We need something positive for young people who don’t have cosy homes to go to. We see so many of them gathered outside McDonald’s having fights or causing trouble. They should have a new space where they get training on how to find employment or find mentoring.”

There have been 21 letters to the council opposing the application while 16 have backed the plans. Meanwhile, 219 people have signed a letter calling for the council to reject the application on the grounds of public nuisance and crime and disorder.

One resident, who backed the plans but was not named by the council, said: “My wife and I live local and really feel that the Nag’s Head is an old and important part of the area’s history, but one that has been underinvested in for years.

“The new market that is to go in there will help revitalise the area and create jobs for many locals.”

The amended application from Empire Visions Ltd says: “There was great concern that these premises would be a nightclub. This was never the case.

“This is a food hall and as such the applicant has removed live and recorded music from the application.”

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