Thousands of pounds seized from illegal nightclub after council court case in Herne Hill

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Thousands of pounds seized from illegal nightclub after council court case in Herne Hill

An illegal nightclub owner, whose business caused misery for the lives of people living in the Herne Hill area of Southwark, has been told he will have to hand over £171,000 of his unlawful proceeds.

Until it was successfully closed by Southwark Council in September 2013, Lincoln Smith ran the Hypnotic nightclub at 75-79 Norwood Road, Herne Hill without planning permission and in breach of a planning enforcement notice.

Southwark Council’s planning enforcement team instigated criminal proceedings and last week the Inner London Crown Court secured a confiscation order of £171,000 in respect of the proceeds of crime. Mr Smith has now been given a period of three months in which to pay the money or he could face a two-year custodial sentence if he defaults in making the payment.

Mark williams  cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: "When the nightclub was operating it was a significant disturbance to those living nearby and other traders trying to run legitimate businesses from nearby premises.

"It has taken a long while for the courts to process this matter but we can now confirm the confiscation order, which demonstrates that flagrantly breaching planning control will not go unpunished and the council will use the law to ensure that those who harm their local environment are appropriately penalised.”