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Tower Hamlets Council defers Joiners Arms development

PUBLISHED: 12:55 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:18 16 August 2017

The Joiners Arms LGBT pub in its heyday in Hackney Road. Picture: Oxyman, Wikimedia Commons

The Joiners Arms LGBT pub in its heyday in Hackney Road. Picture: Oxyman, Wikimedia Commons

Oxyman, Wikimedia Commons

Tower Hamlets Council yesterday halted plans for luxury flats and offices amid concerns it did not far enough to ensure a safe future for a new LGBT pub.

Campaigners with home-made ‘Long live queer spaces’ t-shirts clapped and cheered from the Town Hall’s public gallery as councillors postponed the proposals, described as a “Trojan horse draped in a rainbow flag.”

Council development committee chair Marc Francis said developer Regal Homes’ plan to redevelop the site in Hackney Road, which includes the former Joiners Arms pub, did not ensure a new venue would survive amid limited opening hours and high refurbishing costs.

The council previously told developers permission would only be granted if it included a venue catering to the LGBT community. Council officers had recommended the project for approval.

Campaigners won backing from the Town Hall in 2015 to save the Joiners when it was declared an “asset of community value”.

A spokeswoman for Regal Homes said: “We fully acknowledge the Council’s decision and look forward to working with them and the LGBTQI+ parties to ensure the ultimate success of this scheme for all.”

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