Chinese therapy centre owner assures residents there will be no 'hanky panky' (From Watford Observer)
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Chinese therapy centre owner assures residents there will be no 'hanky panky'
Residents have objected to plans to open a Chinese therapy centre in a residential Watford street.
Euston Avenue residents say the application to open the centre in a vacant shop on the road will add to parking chaos.
Mum-of-two Andrea Bates said the business will attract outsiders to the street for brief periods well into the night - but will give nothing back to residents.
The 35-year-old said: "I saw it being kitted out and initially assumed it was going to be a tanning room.
"But then I was notified that it was going to open as a massage parlour.
"It’s not something local residents would want to use.
"I am angry about it. This is very much a residential area, with a high proportion of families and older people. You’d expect this kind of business more in Market Street or the town centre."
Andrea and husband Neil, 37, said the main concern for residents is that clients would want to park in the street.
Andrea continued: "Euston Avenue is a very narrow street. We don’t want more traffic.
"It’s going to open to 9pm, seven days a week - no-one wants that at the end of their street."
A planning application to change the use of the vacant shop unit at 70 Euston Avenue was submitted in March.
The plans were to refit the building as a massage treatment studio, incorporating two treatment rooms into the new facility.
At the time of going to press seven objections had been lodged with the council.
Michael No, a teacher from Surbiton, submitted the application and said categorising the business as a "massage parlour" was misleading.
He said the business would be a Chinese therapy centre, offering alternative medicines such as acupuncture and Chinese sports massages.
Inside the shop
Mr No said: "People are thinking there’s going to be hanky panky. But something like that opposite residents’ houses - I wouldn’t want to do that.
"It would be stupid.
"I want to run this business for a long time. If there was going to be hanky panky, would I spend £10,000 on the business when I could easily get caught by the police?
"I’m trying to provide a service for the community. It’s a tiny room - only 200 square feet. There are only two small treatment rooms.
"There has been objections relating to a lack of parking spaces on Euston Avenue, but even if I opened a manicure and pedicure centre my customers would need to park - it wouldn’t matter what the business was."
Mr No added he has been told the vacant shop has been closed for five years and thought the community would be happy to see another business open in its place.
The application will now be discussed by the council in July because of the high number of objections it has received.
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