Search

Probe ordered into luxury Finsbury flats ‘used as a hotel’

10:00 19 August 2014

The flats above Waitrose, in St John Street

The flats above Waitrose, in St John Street

Archant

A probe has been launched into luxury flats allegedly being let to wealthy businesses without permission.

The apartments, situated above Waitrose on St John Street, near the junction with Aylesbury Street, in Finsbury, are marketed by Oakwood as short-term lets – either for people on holiday or corporate clients working in London.

But opponents say the planning permission granted when the flats were built was for long-term tenants who would become proper residents of the borough.

George Allan, former councillor for Clerkenwell ward which covers the building, said: “Instead of going on the local market for people who live in the area, it’s become in effect a hotel.

“It’s in complete defiance of what Islington Council’s planning policy is supposed to bring about.

“How this has operated for probably a year or two without the council doing anything is beyond me.

“There is a big debate at the moment over foreign ownership of properties in London but this is keeping flats from the open market.

“No wonder property prices are skyrocketing when the supply is being throttled.”

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “We need to make sure homes in 
Islington are helping people to live here – rather than get lost as short-term holiday or corporate lets. That’s why we are investigating these flats on St John Street and have issued a planning contravention notice, which we’ll follow up with enforcement action if needed.

“Meanwhile, the government has just announced its plans to deregulate short- term lets in London to make them easier – we are very concerned this will make the problem worse and make it harder to take enforcement action.”

According to their website Oakwood, the letting agent marketing the flats, are an American company founded in 1960, which pioneered the temporary housing industry and remain the world’s leading provider of furnished and serviced corporate apartments.

With more than 25,000 locations worldwide, they say, “when it comes to temporary corporate housing, there’s just one name you need to know”.

No one from the company was available for comment at the time the Gazette went to press.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

49 minutes ago
Theresa Conteh, 39, has been missing from the Holloway Road area in Islington since Saturday

Police have joined the search for a 39-year-old woman who cannot speak and has gone missing from her home in Islington.

07:00
(L to R): James Timbs-Harrison, Stuart Markland, Liam Browning and James Kendall row more than 3,000 nautical miles for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Four friends who braved a hurricane and slept no more than two hours at a time for 44 days have completed an incredible 3,400-mile rowing trip across the Atlantic in the name of charity.

Yesterday, 09:00
Prince Andrew talking at Pitch@Palace

Tech City is the third-largest technology hub in the world, and it’s right on our doorstep. Each week, we bring you news from the thriving area around Old Street roundabout. This week, Victoria Ibitoye talks to Tim El-Sheikh, the founder of the bio-tech start-up Scicasts, who pitched to Prince Andrew at Pitch@Palace

Saturday, February 6, 2016
Rising Star: Little Simz, real name Simbi Ajikawo

Islington rapper Simbi Ajikawo, more commonly known as Little Simz, speaks to the Gazette after becoming the first independent rap artist to feature in the Forbes “30 Under 30” list.

Saturday, February 6, 2016
Priscilla 'Sapphira' Silcock, of Blackstock Road, Highbury, is leading a world record attempt for the biggest ever burlesque dance. She is pictured centre with Joy Flatt, left, and Justine Lamond, right

An ambitious dancer and singer from Highbury is organising a 300-strong burlesque spectacular a week today – so she can attract the attention of Sir Richard Branson.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Labour's mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan visited Islington Bunhill Energy Centre, annoucing the creation of 'Energy for Londoners', a not-for-profit company that will take a lead on clean and green energy across the city.

Mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan today outlined how he would address youth violence and the housing crisis in Islington.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Caledonian Park Clock Tower, Cafe and Toilets Project - 2016 Artist's Impression

Designs have been finalised for a controversial visitor centre at the foot of the Caledonian Park clock tower – despite fierce local opposition to the plans.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Lucy Padfield, energy services manager at Islington Council, speaks to Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan outside Bunhill Energy Centre

London mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan today visited Islington as he pledged to become the city’s “greenest ever mayor”.

Most read news

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe