Former Gants Hill ‘brothel’ denied massage licence due to ‘links to sex industry’

Gants Hill Sauna, the previous name of the massage parlour.

Gants Hill Sauna, the previous name of the massage parlour. - Credit: Archant

A sauna, which was previously used as a “brothel” according to police, has been denied a massage licence by Redbridge Council.

Magic Touch His and Hers Sauna, in Woodford Avenue, Gants Hill had its application turned down at the council’s licensing sub-committee on Tuesday.

The business required the accreditation to perform sauna, body massage and Swedish massage, but it was denied based on extensive police reports alleging it had been previously used as a brothel.

Pc Alan Felix wrote to the council, asking it to refuse the licence as “the premises has previous history linked with the sex industry”.

The business operated “unchecked” under the name Gants Hill Sauna for many years, but was closed in 2015 for not holding the correct licence.

At the time the police stated there was “numerous intelligence to suggest that the premises is being used as a suspected brothel”.

Pc Felix said that Redbridge Police were objecting to the venue reopening due to it causing nuisance to residents and businesses, and because the applicant was allegedly “manageress” when it was operating illegally.

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The police report lists numerous crimes being reported at the sauna over the past six years, including allegations of robberies and of men receiving sex.

Since the venue has been closed Pc Felix said there have been no reported incidents, but the venue still attracts customers.

And the licensing officer added he was concerned for the safety of the girls working at the sauna if it reopened.

“Taking into account it’s previous history should the venue be allowed to reopen, not only the local shops and residents but the girls performing licensed massages could be in danger of customers becoming problematic when attending the venue expecting one service and receiving another.”

Magic Touch His and Hers Sauna has been contacted for comment.