Inclusion of gay pub a condition of planning permission for the first time as London fights loss of LGBT venues

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 onlyif 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.

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