Cally Road 24 hour sauna shut-down by police, now seeks license from Council
The ‘Pleasure Garden’ at 278 Caledonian Road has submitted an application to Islington Council seeking a license to trade as a “special treatments” establishment offering sauna, steam and massage.
The application will be considered by a licensing sub-committee at the Town Hall on September 11th at 4pm. Residents and other businesses have been invited to make representations to the Council no later than 15th August.
The business was shut-down following a police raid in February. This was part of a combined enforcement operation on licensed and unlicensed premises throughout the Borough. The police and trading standards officers found that a sauna business was operating without a license and ordered it to close.
An initial application for such a sauna license was then submitted in March. However, this was put on-hold because the building is considered by the Council to be unsafe. Substantial works are required before the Council would consider any licence application. These include repairs to ceilings and floors, fire safety measures, ventilation and electrical testing and certification.
This license application is very controversial because the Pleasure Garden has been trading for many years without a valid licence to operate as a sauna. Nor has it ever received planning permission for the current non-retail use or for 24 hour opening.
It is also widely believed in the neighbourhood that, in addition to sauna services, the business operates as a place where paid-for sex is available. There are web chatrooms and “consumer review” websites that allege in detail the sexual services that could be procured there.
The business operates in the middle of a parade in the main retail area of the Caledonian Road which serves a dense residential neighbourhood on both sides of Cally Rd. In close proximity to number 278 are family owned and run cafes and restaurant and within several hundred metres are three primary schools. Barely 2 minutes walk away is the Cally Pool which is busy every day with children and families.
To submit a representation to the Council, please send an email to email@example.com or write to Islington Council Licensing Team, Public Protection Division, Environment & Regeneration Department, 3rd Floor, 222 Upper Street, London, N1 1XR. Please remember that written representations will be published in the report submitted to the licensing sub-committee because that is a public document. However, all identifying information, such as names and addresses, will be removed.