August 6, 2017

London Tells Developers Go Ahead Develop But The Gay Bar Stays




They will develop this spot but the gay bar returns, so says the city of east London. Don't remember the City of New york ever doing that.




The Joiners Arms, in east London, was bought by developers Regal Homes in 2014 and closed its doors a year later.    

Campaigners fighting to reestablish a legendary London gay bar have made history as planners have ordered for the first time  that a LGBT bar must be created as part of a luxury flats development. 
The decision by Tower Hamlets council to order a multi-million pound redevelopment to include an LGBT venue comes as more than half of London's gay bars have closed in the last decade.

It is believed to be the first time that the sexual orientation of a venue’s customers has been included as a condition of planning approval. 
The Joiners Arms, in east London, was bought by developers Regal Homes in 2014 and closed its doors a year later.

Regulars from the pub, whose clientele has included the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Patrick Wolf, designer Christopher Kane, actor Rupert Everett and former Westlife singer Mark Feehily, created the Friends of the Joiners Arms (FOTJA) and achieved protective status for it ahead of the planning conditions being imposed.

Councillors are due to vote on plans submitted by Regal Homes on Wednesday which propose to transform the site into nine luxury flats and a pub. 

Ahead of the vote the company has said it is committed to ensuring an LGBT venue remains at the site for 12 years.

“The development on Hackney Road will re-provide a public house at ground-floor level with the same floor space as the previous Joiners Arms pub," a spokesman said.

"We are committed to keeping this space within our development in Tower Hamlets as a LGBT venue and have offered a right of first refusal on the lease to LGBT interested parties, including the Friends of the Joiners Arms and the New Joiners Arms.

“If the lease is taken up by an interested party then the venue will be secured for at least 12 years for LGBT use. We have also agreed a rent-free period for the first year."

A culture at risk officer from City Hall, who will help assess licensee applications, will later check the operator of the new bar is sufficiently LGBT and meets the requirements. 

Tower Hamlets Mayor, John Biggs added: “Tower Hamlets council is committed to celebrating our great diversity, which includes serving the needs of our LGBTQ+ community. I am delighted that as a council we are leading the way in using innovative ways to protect spaces such as the Joiners Arms site.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he is committed to preserving LGBT venues in London as the number of venues has dropped from 125 to 53 since 2006.

“I hold LGBT venues in very high regard and have made it clear that protecting them is an integral part of my plans to grow London’s night-time economy and culture," he said.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for LGBT venues to exist, and as difficult as possible for them to close."



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