‘Please be quiet we are sleeping in this death trap’ – is this Cally Road tenants speaking out in pavement graffiti?

Some topical pavement graffiti spotted by locals Nina and Aron on the Cally Road outside number 334-336 (photo is Nina’s).

‘Please be quiet we are sleeping in this death trap. Thanks Islington’

The chalking around the pavement light probably refers to  underground ‘flats’ of the type revealed in the recent BBC documentary where cellars are converted into four or five rooms.  Is this a cry for help by a resident?

The writer also has a dig at Islington Council for allowing this to go on.  Over on the Cally Councillors blog Cllr Convery has recently said

‘Over the last 10 years or so, it is clear that the Council’s planners simply did not have the determination to challenge and enforce against these sorts of planning breaches. Nor did they get the signal from the Town Hall or elected local politicians to do so. However, the current Caledonian Councillors and the Town Hall leadership does have the political will to bring enforcement action.’

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
This entry was posted in Anti Social Behaviour, Crime etc, Planning, Licensing and Regulation. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to ‘Please be quiet we are sleeping in this death trap’ – is this Cally Road tenants speaking out in pavement graffiti?

  1. I came outside and saw this this morning (brilliant!) along with the signs posted saying ‘No more milk on the Cally, the cows are empty’ which have all been taken down now. These were a reference to the landlord’s boast on the Secret History of our Streets programme that his mother had told him that if there was a cow he should milk it. He has stayed true to those words with regard to his exploitation of the Cally. Great to see someone fighting back while the Council remain quiet, some would say, cowed.

  2. The protest placards and chalked-messages were written yesterday evening by regulars at the Prince pub on the corner of Bridgeman Road. Pretty much everyone on the Cally is quite outraged by Mr Panayi and his boast that he “builds first, asks for permission later”. The community of people who drink and socialise at the Prince have an extra beef with Mr Panayi: he owns the freehold of the pub and is causing the landlady, Eileen Christie, immense grief. As a result, she is contemplating giving-up the lease, which no-one wants to happen.

    The Council is already taking enforcement action Mr Panayi on properties he has developed without permission and last week the Council began a series of spot inspections of many flats to see if they meet building and fire safety codes. One of the inspections will be at 344-336 Caledonian Rd (beneath the fornmer Topkapi Place restaurant) to check if they have any permissions and/or been built to legal, safe standards.

    As local Councillors, we have regularly reported infringements and, when investigated, Mr Panayi has complied with Council instructions. We have also objected to planning applications by Mr Panayi and he has been refused planning permission on some of his developments.

    It now turns out that he owns a great deal more than had previously been thought – and much of the building work has been hidden from public view. That is why the Council is now inspecting all his properties. If Mr Panayi is not in-compliance, he will be required to do so and could be prosecuted if he refuses.

  3. Cally Cows says:

    Whilst I was not involved in the spontaneous “protest” and only noticed the signs this morning, I was inspired by them to seek a way of getting organised. I have started email and twitter accounts: callycows@gmail.com and @callycows (inspired by the posters than appeared on Caledonian Road this morning). If you’re interested in getting together as current tenants and entering a conversation with the council on what could be done about this — or whichever other way forward may be more appropriate — do get in touch. This is also to make sure we understand what may happen to tenants should he be found not in-compliance of council instructions.
    Judging by the documentary, there must be hundreds of us!

  4. Pingback: Councils steps up enforcement action against Cally Landlord | Kings Cross Environment

  5. Anon says:

    I watched the TV programme and it was enjoyable. However, I am quite disappointed by the ‘mob’ attitude towards Mr Panayi. It occurs to me it is not his tenants that are complaining but local people.

    Mr Panayi. came accross as a cheeky character and frankly, I think he is a genuis for creating flats in the shop basements. This is wasted space. Mr Panayi has provided affordable housing to low-waged people like the Austrialian waiter. When asked by the TV presenter why he lived in the basement flat, his tenant replied it was “cheap”!

    The people of Cally don’t get it. It is so expensive too live in London’s Zone 1 and I would queue to live in Mr Panayi flat (I mean if an Aussie waiter can live there, then I am sure, I would be able to scrap a few quid!!!). Of course, I would deal with the mould in the flat – yuck!. I could enjoy life so much more if I lived in Zone 1. I am missing out so much on life. It is so expensive to get to Zone 1. I don’t care, if the flat is a shoe box, as I would spend most of my time outdoors. Please forgive me, but I think the people of Cally should be understanding.

    Mr Panayi should take his responsibilities more seriously and obey the planning rules, environmental law, buiding and fire regs…

    You have to put Mr Panayi conduct, in context, when you see all the ugly high-rise council blocks which blight our country, Mr Panayi action and dodgy conversion are the least of our problems.

    I also think the comment about the ‘cows’ is both unfortunate and ‘lost in translation’. Mr Panayi was asked, if he is so wealthy why does n’t he just retire and enjoy the good life. He can be an absentee landlord. To which Mr Panayi replied (approx) “if a cow is producing milk, you keep milking it”. This is where people have got quite upset and got the wrong end of the stick. It is meant to imply, that so long as Mr Panayi is fit and healthy to work then he should continue working. In order words, the advice from his mother is don’t retire. It is also about having a serious work ethic. (people have taken it to mean exploit tenants and this is unfortunate….)

    Mr Panayi, seemed a humble man, given that he owns an entire street. He lived in pretty simple accomodation, no bling bling and no Ferrari.

    Please forgive, if my comments ofend anyone, but I just don’t like the ‘mob’ attitude. Mr Panayi, has questions to answer….

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