Search

Islington sauna owner granted special licence amid “homophobic” opposition

12:40 20 May 2013

A licensing meeting has granted Paradise Spa licence despite complaints from the public

A licensing meeting has granted Paradise Spa licence despite complaints from the public

Archant

The owner of a gay sauna who branded opponents of his spa “homophobic” has controversially been given the green light to continue offering special treatments.

A council meeting heard how a “Bareback Party” and “Raw Heat Pig Party” had been advertised at Paradise Spa, Crouch Hill, on gay online forums.

Investigators who swooped on the address with police also found a swing attached by harness to the ceiling and cage with a dog bowl in the corner after being greeted by semi-naked men.

Porn, a laptop and widescreen TV were also found while a council inspector was told the spa gives out condoms for “safe play” after asking if the Bareback party was being held later that day.

Holding sex parties would be against Islington Council rules.

But owner, Chris Horwood, told last week’s licensing regulatory committee he had no idea about the advertised sex parties, and that they were organised by third parties and never took place.

Mr Horwood said: “Considering Islington’s diverse community, that they have the highest population of gay and lesbian people of all other London boroughs, why they don’t embrace this type of business like the other London boroughs do, I really don’t know.

“It has been one of the worst issues I’ve had to deal with and has just been hostility from day one.”

In an e-mail sent to a council officer shown to the meeting he also branded complaints received as “malicious and homophobic”.

His lawyer, Chris Spence, also suggested the council was being hypocritical – because gay people were using council-run swimming pools and fitness centres for encounters.

One quick Google search of “gay sex Islington”, he told the meeting, throws up a number of websites of homosexuals talking about meet-ups at council-run facilities.

Mr Horwood had been applying for a Special Treatments Licence to provide sauna and steam room facilities after his previous one expired. Complaints had also been received from nearby residents.

But the licensing committee granted the 12-month licence despite objections from council officer Katie Tomashevski, who raised concerns licensing rules were being flouted after visiting the premises with police in October last year.

Mr Spence said there was no evidence pornography had been shown on the premises and that no sex had ever taken place on-site despite there being curtained-off booths.

He added the online parties advertised had not been promoted by Mr Horwood and that the harness and cage, which have since been removed, were merely to create an “atmosphere of masculinity”.

Paradise Spa advertises itself openly as a gay sauna on its website and charges £13 for entry,

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

09:00
Peter and Alan Arthy at the Mears Group HQ in Caledonian Road

“I was 14 and the career officer came round. He said to me ‘right you’ve got three options; making women’s handbags, a dustman or a painter and decorator’.”

Fabric nightclub in Charterhouse Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

Two 18-year-old boys who died after taking ecstasy at Fabric had bought the class A drug from strangers inside the Farringdon club, where substance abuse is rife and security lax, an explosive report today alleges.

Fri, 16:11
Emergency services and displaced commuters outside Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station (Picture: Sam Gelder)

A commuter has described his horror at seeing a boy attacked on a bus in Caledonian Road, in an incident believed to be linked to a stabbing on a nearby Overground platform.

Fri, 15:12
John Ball, pictured on January 31, on the balcony of the second floor flat in which he died

Firefighters called to a housing block three times could not have saved the alcoholic found dead in his soot-covered flat the next day, a coroner has ruled.

Emergency services and displaced commuters outside Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station (Picture: Sam Gelder)

Two boys are believed to have been stabbed in a group fight at Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station this afternoon, leaving one seriously injured while another fled onto a passing bus.

Thu, 13:19
Angela Sinclair 92 years old @  Save Whittington Hospital March

A stalwart campaigner for social justice who continued going on protest marches into her 90s has died.

Thu, 13:02
Masjid Al-risaalah mosque and Islington Islamic Centre. (Picture: Google Maps).

A man in his late 40s was stabbed outside a Holloway mosque in broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon.

Thu, 06:00
GCSE results are out tomorrow

Teenagers across the country face one of the most nerve-racking days of their young lives today with the publication of GCSE results.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now