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.

Support your community by viewing your local businesses

Please wait

You will be able to read the article in 5 seconds

Thank you for supporting your local community

You may now read the article

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

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

17:55
MP Emily Thornberry (front) with Warren Levy (back)  and other residents of Sutton Dwellings

A battle between a landlord and tenants on an Islington estate has been won by residents after a David and Goliath struggle.

17:06
MP Emily Thornberry's picture has caused something of a storm on Twitter Pic: @EmilyThornberry

A beleaguered Islington politician forced to step down from the shadow cabinet has praised the “lovely” support she says she has had from her constituents.

Last year's Christmas extravaganza. Photo by: Dieter Perry

This Sunday the Nag’s Head will come alive with Yuletide joy and magic as Christmas officially launches in Islington.

15:53
Sgt Alistair Mills (left) and chf Sup Gerry Campbell (right) together with other local representatives  launch  the Christmas Tree gift appeal at Angel tube station

More than 700 disadvantaged children look set for a merrier Christmas thanks to Islington Police and generous residents.

Most read news

The judge reckons the PC did not have enough wit to invent the story.

There’s been a rise in the number of fresh shop-bought chickens contaminated with the bug since August.

Fellow writers Ian Rankin and Patricia Cornwell also paid tribute.

New responsibilities over income tax and welfare could be heading to Holyrood.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition