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.”
City Hall’s culture at risk officer, Ed Bayes, will be involved in assessing licensee applications to ensure that the operator of the new bar will be sufficiently LGBTQ, and not seeking to open a gay bar in name only.
The mayor’s office will send an inspector to make sure it is gay enough.