A bar in Battersea has coated its benches in non-drying adhesive, to prevent people congregating outside.

Archer Street SW11, a cocktail bar on Northcote Road, has taken new measures amid the coronavirus crisis to stop visitors to its former smoking area.

A sign in the window of the bar says: “Do not sit in these seats.”

“Due to the disrespect and abuse of this area we have no alternative but to lay non-drying adhesive on these seats.”

Wandsworth Times: Signs prevent people from sitting on benchesSigns prevent people from sitting on benches

However, the move has caused a backlash on social media, with residents complaining about a lack of community feeling.

One Twitter user called the measures a “disgrace” and suggested that the bar should be “ashamed.”

Although Archer Street has been closed under London’s Tier 4 restrictions, there are concerns that groups of people are continuing to gather on its benches in the evenings.

Wandsworth Times: Benches covered with glueBenches covered with glue

The Northcote Road was a popular destination last summer, despite some concerns that pedestrianising the street on weekends could make social distancing difficult.

Jonny Dyson, Chairman of the Northcote Business Network, said:

“I do understand their frustration, as recently they have been inundated with groups of people gathering there in the evenings, drinking takeaway drinks (not from Archer Street), urinating, leaving cigarette butts in the flower pots.

However, he added that the move seemed like an “overreaction” and suggested barriers could work better to detract crowds, as implemented by neighbouring bar The Old Bank.

A spokesperson for Archer Street told the Wandsworth Times the substance had been removed. They said:

"We apologise for any offence caused by our actions to deter gatherings outside Archer Street.

"The decision was made due to the prevalence and mutation of the current strain of the virus and the abuse/disrespect to Archer Street, local community, and National guidelines.

"We understand how this has caused some offence and for that we are truly sorry. The substance has been removed."