Plans to redevelop Soho’s historic Yard Bar have been scrapped

Nick Duffy May 1, 2015
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Campaigners who aim to protect Soho’s night-life are celebrating, after a planning application to build flats above the site of a historic gay pub were rejected.

The Yard and Stables in Rupert Street, which has served the LGBT community for a number of years, has been fighting a series of plans that would see the development of flats above the existing building – which is the last historic carriage yard in the area.

One planning proposal was shot down by Westminster Council last month on the ground of historical interest and importance to the local community – and this week a second proposal to cover over the courtyard and develop flats was withdrawn entirely.

Andy Jones, owner of The Yard, said: “It is a great relief that the second application has been withdrawn from the Council by the landlord. The application would have severally damaged the last remaining 19th Century stables in Soho.

“I would like to thank everyone for their support towards the campaign.

“Hundreds of objections were formally made against both applications by residents, customers and the greater Soho community.”

It is not known at this time if the landlord plans to submit further planning applications.

When discussing the previous planing application, Westminster Council received over 600 messages condemning the plans, with some coming from as far afield as New Zealand and Argentina, as well as from English Heritage.

The council had noted: “The premises is one of the few enclosed, but open to the sky, areas within Soho where it is possible to drink and smoke and as such is popular with local residents, workers and the wider LGBT community.”

Planning committee chair Cllr Andrew Smith said: “The evidence is compelling and we need to take heed of the objections raised by English Heritage and conserve this structure. It is an important aspect of Soho, it has historical interest, not only locally but for the wider city and beyond.”

More: bar, Gay, LGBT, London, nightlife, pub, Rupert Street, Soho, Yard

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