Tougher alcohol licensing rules have been introduced in an area affected by crime and anti-social behaviour.

A special zone designed to limit the number of shops and other venues given alcohol licences in Burnt Oak, Edgware, has been agreed by Barnet Council.

The ‘cumulative impact zone’ will make it easier for councillors to turn down applications to sell alcohol in the area, which is already home to a large number of licensed premises.

Burnt Oak has one of the highest rates of alcohol-related violent crime in Barnet borough, according to a council report.

The cumulative impact zone – which covers parts of Burnt Oak Broadway, Watling Avenue and surrounding streets – was adopted at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday (January 28).

Chairman of the licensing committee Cllr John Marshall (Conservative, Garden Suburb) said: “I should like to congratulate Cllr Barry Rawlings [Labour leader] and Cllr Alison Cornelius [Conservative chairman of the health scrutiny committee].

“In this rare example of cross-party cooperation, we have had a proposal coming forward that is going to benefit the people of the Burnt Oak area.

“That is great – two councillors with deeply held political opinions can come together and do something for the benefit of the wider community. I only wish that were more frequent.”

Cllr Sara Conway (Labour, Burnt Oak) thanked the former borough commander, Simon Rose, police officers, the licensing committee and policy officers.

She said that previously “the tools did not exist to make the best licensing decisions for the community”, meaning the council was “pouring more alcohol into the area while trying to tackle the problems it was bringing to our streets”.

But Cllr Conway added it had taken a “relatively long time” to come up with the solution and asked if the council could look into fast-tracking similar proposals.

The zone was unanimously agreed by Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors.