Gay bars in London are closing down at such an “alarming” rate that the redevelopment of the Joiners Arms, an east London pub that counted Alexander McQueen, Rufus Wainwright and Wolfgang Tillmans among its regulars, will only get the go-ahead if it includes an LGBT club venue – and the mayor’s office will send an inspector to make sure it is gay enough.
Tower Hamlets council has told the developers of the Joiners site that their plans for offices and nine luxury flats will get planning permission only if it includes a pub that will “remain a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-focused venue for a minimum of 12 years”. 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 borough’s mayor, John Biggs, said: “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.”
Over the past decade London has lost 58% of its LGBT venues as their prime locations are snapped up by developers for regeneration and clubgoers abandon nights out for the convenience of Grindr, Tinder and other hookup apps. Eleven London boroughs, including Haringey, and Kensington and Chelsea, have lost all their LGBT bars. Read more via the Guardian