Shisha lounge shut down

AN illegal shisha lounge has been shut down in East Ham after complaints from residents.

Council investigations revealed that the marquee in Barking Road was also breaking planning laws and the smoking ban, writes Melissa York.

The venue was trading on land set aside for housing, and local homeowners accused the customers of causing a public nuisance late at night.

Cllr Unmesh Desai, executive member for crime and antisocial behaviour, believes that shisha lounges are a growing social problem.

He said: “These places are unsupervised, pose potential health and safety problems and cause antisocial behaviour, noise and disturb residents living close by.”

The Barking Road lounge was served with a closing order in March which the owners appealed against.

They lost their appeal in August but ignored the council’s closing notice.

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The council have now begun legal proceedings against the owners because they failed to comply with orders and to compensate for the cost of removing the lounge.

Cllr Desai added: “We are working with our partners and the police to take action against venues like these and reassure the local community.”