No doubt you’ve heard that Tower Hamlets, the GLA, and our good friends Regal Homes have all decided to do the right thing and save our LGBT+ space. We don’t want to spoil the party – and we are very glad to see the crisis that is London losing 60% of its queer spaces in the last decade being taken seriously – but we want to stick our oar in:
- The planned development has been independently reviewed by the Campaign for Real Ale who agree this is not a viable pub: opening hours will be restricted to 11pm (midnight Fridays/Saturdays); storage and working space will be compressed into the ground floor; queuing and smoking will be combined outside the front of the venue; there is no protection against noise complaints
- The proposals give Regal (or whoever eventually buys the development) the opportunity to set their own “selection criteria” to decide who should run the space, and only requires them to submit choices to the GLA for “comment”
- The queer community has been fighting the closure and proposed demolition of the Joiners Arms since November 2014, and arguably without this the council would have accepted Regal’s initial plans for a multi-storey block of flats with no pub – our voices matter!
We have been consistently arguing that the diverse LGBTQI+ community have been attacked for years, and that we are best served by a late-licence pub that is run by the community, for the community. Whilst it’s truly great to see the council, City Hall, and developers engaging with these arguments, the proposal on the table does not go far enough.
We’d love to hear your views on this – so please add your comments; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; join us at the council meeting on Wed to make your voice heard; or sign and share our petition for a community-run, late-licence Joiners
PS You can read the draft agreement between the council and Regal right here – or see pictures below