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‘No LGBT pub, no deal’ Tower Hamlets Council tells developers

PUBLISHED: 17:59 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 19:12 08 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

Plans for new blocks of flats in east London will only get the planning green light if they include a venue for the gay community, Tower Hamlets Council has told developers.

The scheme is to turn the former Joiners Arms pub at Shoreditch—once the East End’s famous LGBT venue—into offices and nine new homes.

But it will only get approval if it includes the LGBT venue, which is being decided by the council’s planning committee tomorrow night. Council officials have recommended the project for approval.

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

The victory came four days after the last pint was pulled when the lease on the premises ran out.

The Joiners Arms is “overflowing with community value”, say campaigners. The pub has been used in the past as “a safe haven” for victims of discrimination and for fundraising, safety liaison sessions with police and public debates.

London has lost more than half its LGBT venues over the past decade, according to a study by University College London.

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