Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Sex Shop on Islington Green

The sex shop on Islington Green is a typical case of the Council failing to stand up to a commercial operator deliberately bending the rules.

Many residents were unhappy when a store called 'Clone Zone' first applied for a sex shop licence for this shop. They felt that Islington green is a family area, with Tesco next door attracting families and children to the immediate area throughout the day. The result of objections was that the shop was only allowed to trade as a sex shop in the basement. If you looked at the shop from outside and didn't understand the coded meaning of the name of the shop you wouldn't know it was there, which was fine. Obviously the licensing committee felt that a sex shop was only acceptable if it's presence was very discreet.

Clone zone then closed, and the current operator applied to renew the license. I enquired many times during the application period to find out what the operator intended to do with the ground floor, which is not licensed as a sex shop, and couldn't get an answer. Then, surpise surprise, now the shop has opened it is now obviously a sex shop on the ground floor and the basement, all the signs outside make it obvious what it is, and the door is left open all the time so anyone can see in.

I have objected to the sex shop being on the ground floor and have been told by the Council that the shop is "only selling underwear" on the ground floor. This is nonsense. The shop is obviously and overtly a sex shop, where previously it was hidden away, and none of the reasons for wanting it hidden away have changed.

The Council should be standing up to traders of this sort who flout the rules.

And now the shop has applied to extend their opening hours to 10pm every night, and to open on Sundays as well. I have once again sent my objections, restating all the points I have made above. Lets see if the Council has the courage to say 'no' this time.

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