Late-night takeaway bid rejected as residents complain it would ‘fuel student parties’ in Manchester

Residents in Withington claim their neighbourhood is already busier at 3am than in the daytime.

People in Withington don’t want the neighbourhood ‘to turn into Fallowfield’ by fuelling late night parties, resident groups have said.

Residents complained of the noise created by students who live in the area at a Manchester City Council hearing about a late night licence.

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The takeaway in Wilmslow Road had its premises licence application refused after residents raised concerns that late night deliveries would ‘fuel parties’.

Biggy’s in Wilmslow Road, Manchester, pictured in July 2021. Credit: Google Maps

Biggy’s, which was formerly known as Wrap Away, initially wanted to stay open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays and until 2am during the rest of the week.

But this request was reconsidered after concerns were raised by Manchester council officers, Greater Manchester Police and a number of resident groups.

Shiraz Ahmed, who applied for a premises licence to provide late night food, decided instead to only offer deliveries between 11pm and 2am every day.

However, representatives from residents groups in the area argued that late night deliveries would still create noise and nuisance in the neighbourhood.

What have residents said?

Speaking on behalf of South East Fallowfield Residents Group, Kattie Kincaid said people living in the area suffer from a ‘huge amount’ of noise at night.

Withington Credit: Manchester City Council

She said: “A lot of this comes from parties, but it also comes from the general to-ing and fro-ing that happens in this area. The sheer transience of it.

“The noise is the thing that personally I have found most disruptive.

“In most neighbourhoods at 2am, 3am in the morning, they’re pretty quiet. But in our neighbourhood, it’s actually busier than it is often during the day time.”

Kincaid claimed that having takeaways delivered late at night is a ‘real problem’ for residents who are disturbed by drivers knocking on doors.

Sometimes they get the wrong delivery address, she said – although Ahmed said Biggy’s drivers do not knock when it is late and call customers instead.

‘No-one ordering takeaway at 1am is sober’

She argued that takeaways create more rubbish which places a ‘huge burden’ on residents who find often ‘debris all over the place’ and regularly pick it up.

And she told the licensing panel that late night deliveries would ‘fuel parties’.

She said: “People carry on partying because they’re all drinking.

“Nobody really at 1am who is ordering a delivery is totally sober or not influenced by drugs or whatever. It’s just not a common thing.

“People who are drinking or whatever generally are not that concerned about noise or disposing of rubbish.”

She also spoke of council policies recently introduced in the area which she said were aimed at stopping the ‘problems’ of Fallowfield spreading further.

Roger Smith, who addressed the panel on behalf of Withington Civic Society, said these policies have already resulted in some improvements in the district.

The ‘stress policy’ states that new licences for premises like these should not be granted in the neighbourhood unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Representing Fallowfield and Withington Community Gardens, Sue Hare argued that this is not an exceptional case – as did the other objectors.

Kincaid added: “I almost feel like it was too late in Fallowfield so we end up with the problem that we now have.

“We really don’t want this to happen in Withington too – any more than it already is.”

What have police said?

Speaking on behalf of Greater Manchester Police, PC Alan Isherwood raised concerns that the licensing conditions proposed were not ‘fit for purpose’ as none related to deliveries – and council officers echoed these comments.

Licensing officers also claimed they had caught the takeaway operating after the permitted hours on two occasions within a couple of weeks of each other.

But Ahmed, who runs other takeaways elsewhere in Manchester as well, said staff were actually celebrating a colleague’s birthday during one of the visits.

Responding to residents’ concerns, he said that the majority of takeaway orders received are not from the Withington area and argued that Biggy’s is providing a service to people working late nights – not just for student parties.

He said: “We don’t just cater for people who are drunk or on drugs.”

Councillors on the licensing sub committee hearing panel rejected the application for a late night licence at the town hall on Tuesday 4 January.

The panel also rejected another application to extend the opening hours of Mr Shawarma in Shudehill from 4am to 6am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.