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»A massage parlour – where council licensing inspectors were allegedly offered 30 minutes with a woman for £50 – has dropped its licence application at the last minute.

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Pleasure Garden in Caledonian Road, Islington, was due on Tuesday to ask for a permit for a sauna, steam room and massage parlour, but cancelled at the 11th hour.

The venue was in trouble in March when council officers found it operating without a licence and shut it down.

They visited in June and saw the site had remained closed – but taxi drivers across the road reportedly told them it didn’t open until 1am.

When they returned in July after 1am, the receptionist allegedly told them it was £15 to get in, then £50 for half an hour with a girl.

According to council documents, the officers were told if they wanted longer they would have to negotiate privately with the girl.

The owner of the establishment told the council she was now operating the Pleasure Garden as a hair salon – but police officers claim that whenever they called to make appointments the phone was unanswered or engaged.

Cllr Paul Convery, who represents Caledonian ward, said: “The licence would have been refused anyway. We will have to see what they come up with next.

“The place was closed down and they have been operating without a licence.

“We felt this place should be closed down and I am glad the council, with the police, are acting.

“The witnesses that have come forward are anonymous and you can understand why people are nervous complaining about this kind of place.

“They may have connections with people who make you scared frankly.”

The Gazette was unable to contact the Pleasure Garden for a comment.

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