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Cally Road 24-hour “sauna” permanently closed-down by Council

November 8, 2012

No sign of anyone entering the premises for many weeks … then an estate agent board goes up confirming permanent closure

The notorious “Pleasure Garden” sauna business has finally closed down after decisive enforcement action by Islington Council with police support.

The owner has been “cautioned” for running an unlicensed sauna and massage business. It is widely believed that, for many years, the premises at 278 Caledonian Rd did not simply provide sauna and massage services but operated as a cover business where paid-for sex with prostitutes was available.

Council officers and police raided the premises in February and were told that, for a £10 entry fee, customers could use a steam room and sauna. The premises were found to have three basement rooms containing mattresses where massages were available.

Without a license for sauna and massage, the business was temporarily closed down by the Council and police. In July, the operator of the business applied for such a license but then withdrew just hours before the case was to be heard by a Town Hall committee in September. It was a near certainty that the application would have been rejected by the Councillors.

Now the premises are empty and up for letting with agents advertising it as a “health centre”. The building is owned by controversial local landlord, Andrew Panayi, who has been firmly reminded that the building does not have a valid planning permission for “health club” use.

The final steps in this saga came last month when a 52-year-old woman from Romford, Essex, who was the owner of the business, admitted the offence of running an unlicensed premise for sauna and massage.

Caledonian Ward Councillor Paul Convery says “The Council in previous years refused to take enforcement action over this premise and the current Town Hall leadership has taken a much firmer stance against illicit businesses such as this. We intend to close down every sex-related establishment in the Borough – particularly those in the Kings Cross area – and have made considerable progress in the last two years. There’s no place in Islington for businesses that ignore laws designed to protect residents, customers and employees. We will take further action as needed to stop such businesses from operating in our communities.”

To report all anti-social behaviour in Islington, call the Council’s crime, disorder and nuisance team on 020 7527 7272 or go to www.islington.gov.uk/reportasb

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Sweeny permalink
    November 9, 2012 1:39 pm

    About time too. Well done to all the local residents and local Councillors who made this happen through committing their and time and hard work, to make this area a more family orientated and a much friendlier and safer environment in which to live. Mike Sweeney

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