Greggs’ plans to sell hot food into the early hours of the morning at its Leicester Square flagship site have been knocked back.
Westminster City Council blocked an application for the West End store to sell hot food – such as its chicken goujons – and hot drinks until 5am, citing concerns of the Met police and residents.
It can currently sell hot food and drinks from 6am until 11pm and warm pastries until 5am.
“We’re as excited as anybody about the arrival of Greggs in Leicester Square and I’m sure people across the West End will flock to get themselves a sausage roll, steak bake or jam doughnut,” the BBC reported Aicha Less, Westminster council’s cabinet member for communities and public protection, as stating.
However, concerns had been raised by affected parties that such plans were “half baked,” she added.
“There are worries that businesses serving 24/7 in the city centre creates challenges and that the bakery could become a hotspot for late-night disturbances and antisocial behaviour,” Less said.
“The decision to refuse an overnight license by Westminster City Council is somewhat short sighted,” Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said.
“We need to start moving towards a 24 hour economy and decisions which limit the operational hours will have an effect on investment, growth and jobs within the capital, particularly while we are reestablishing customer confidence, given the many challenges faced economically and through industrial action over the last few months.”
Emergency service and shift workers would be likely to be enticed by warm food in the early hours, as opposed to rowdy groups, a spokesperson for Greggs told the BBC.
“Greggs is an excellent neighbour… there’s no intention to draw hordes of new people in. There are other Greggs offers in the locality, so it’s not as if everybody needs to ascend upon this particular premises,” they added.