Petition opposing Peterborough restaurant opening until 3am 'signed by 150'

But the restaurant’s manager has accused critics of playing politics, saying the later hours ‘aren’t going to affect anybody’
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More than a hundred people have signed a petition protesting a Peterborough restaurant’s application to stay open until 3am.

Campaigners Millfield Action Group presented the petition, which they say has 150 signatures, opposing the later hours at Bucharest Coffee and Restaurant on Lincoln Road to councillors outside Peterborough Town Hall.

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The petition says that the establishment, which also has an outdoor area for the smoking of shisha, risks “turning into a nightclub” despite being in a “residential area”.

Abid Hussain (centre) presented the petition to North ward candidates Mohammed Haseeb (left) and Ansar Ali (right) at Peterborough Town HallAbid Hussain (centre) presented the petition to North ward candidates Mohammed Haseeb (left) and Ansar Ali (right) at Peterborough Town Hall
Abid Hussain (centre) presented the petition to North ward candidates Mohammed Haseeb (left) and Ansar Ali (right) at Peterborough Town Hall

Leader of the campaign group – Abid Hussain – also says that the later hours could lead to issues including “crime, drunk and disorderly behaviour and litter”.

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But Bucharest manager Thomasz Demski says that it’s “not going to be a nightclub” and that other coffee shops in the area are already open until the early hours of the morning.

He also claimed that the pushback against his establishment is “politics, because of the election”.

The manager of Bucharest Coffee in Millfield says customers have been 'begging' to stay laterThe manager of Bucharest Coffee in Millfield says customers have been 'begging' to stay later
The manager of Bucharest Coffee in Millfield says customers have been 'begging' to stay later
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Millfield Action Group presented their petition to Ansar Ali (Independent) and Mohammed Haseeb (Labour), previously elected councillors. Cllr Ali is currently standing for re-election in North Ward.

Peterborough City Council (PCC) says that, because of their rules in force in the pre-election period, they couldn’t accept the petition from the candidates themselves, but confirmed that Bucharest’s application for later opening hours will be considered at a future licensing committee meeting.

A spokesperson said: “Due to the pre-election period, we cannot promote the work of any councillors at this time, and as such have refused a request from Members to deliver the petition to Licensing Officers in person.

“We can confirm that representations have been made in relation to the licensing objectives and as such the application will be determined by the Licensing Act sub-committee.”

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Mr Hussain said that his campaign group is trying to tackle “anything that’s going to cause major issues within the area.”

“Already there’s far, far too many alcohol licences and gambling licences that have just been given out like candy on Lincoln Road causing major issues within the area,” he said.

He added that the purpose of presenting the petition, which was brought door-to-door to residents and businesses in Millfield, at the Town Hall was to “make sure it doesn’t get lost”.

Noise and crime are the biggest potential issues with licenced establishments in the area, he continued, which he wants to be a place families can visit.

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“I’m born and bred within the area of Millfield and now, having children of my own, I’m just looking at the future prospects of what kind of area they going to be brought up in,” he said.

But Mr Demski says that the later hours, which would only be on a Friday and Saturday, would benefit his customers who have been “begging” to stay longer.

People are coming out of work at 8, 9, o’clock and they sit for a couple of hours and then we have to tell them to go,” he said. “They’re begging to stay a little bit longer.”

“Two more hours; I don’t think it’s going to affect anybody,” he continued, adding that businesses are struggling at the moment because of high electricity and gas prices.

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Bucharest Coffee’s application asks that the premises can sell alcohol until 1am on Sunday through Thursday and 2:30am on Friday and Saturday, with the restaurant closing at 3am.

A PCC spokesperson said that licenced premises are regularly inspected and action taken where issues are identified.

"As a licensing authority, the council acts in accordance with legislation to regulate premises which sell alcohol," they said.

"Our Regulatory Officers undertake regular inspections of local premises alongside the police and will take appropriate action where issues are identified."

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A police spokesperson said: "Anti-social behaviour is a priority for local policing teams across Peterborough, including officers covering Millfield, and they are working hard to tackle it.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment further on this specific location, or the application, as there is an ongoing formal process.”