A historic gay bar in London has officially been saved from developers
The Yard – one of Soho’s best-loved gay bars – has been saved from developers for a second time.
The bar on Rupert Street is well-known for its trademark courtyard, but a developer, Consolidated Property Corporation Limited, submitted plans to build three flats over the courtyard.
However, these plans were rejected by the Westminster City Council.
The same developer later submitted two appeals, the last of which was rejected on August 10 by the Planning Inspectorate.
The report states the appeal was rejected because of a fear the flats would “fundamentally” alter the historic bar, and the developer’s plans to put a glass ceiling over the courtyard would remove an “extremely distinctive feature of the bar”.
Westminster City Council’s Deputy Leader Robert Davis said he was happy with the decision.
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“Soho is one of the most iconic areas of Westminster, with a unique character that everyone at the council is committed to protecting.
“The Yard is a jewel in Soho’s crown and I am thrilled that we have joined forces with the ward councillors and the local community to ensure it remains open for business.”
A campaign to raise awareness about the appeal, Save The Yard, attracted a lot of attention and helped publicise the issue on the run-up to the decision.
Andy Jones, the Yard Bar’s owner, said: “It has been a very long battle and we are so delighted that we have been successful.
“The support we got from Westminster City Council, ward councillors, Historic England, Soho Society, heritage experts and the LGBT, business and residential communities was huge and unbelievable.
“We can’t thank everyone enough. Ultimately, all of their support helped to overcome the multiple applications and common sense has prevailed. Long live The Yard!”