Asset status

Council maintains Joiners Arms community asset status – Eastlondonlines

Protesters outside Tower Hamlets Town Hall Pic: Toby Roddham

The Joiners Arms are looking to continue playing their role in London’s gay scene after Tower Hamlets Council announced it will maintain its status as a community asset.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) pub on Hackney Road closed in January and its current owners, Robobond LTD, had attempted to have community value asset (ACV) status removed in order to that it can be demolished and turned into apartments.

The move sparked an uproar from the LGBTQIA community and Friends of the Joiners Arms (FOTJA) has launched a campaign to save the building. Demonstrations took place and a online petition collected over 1,250 signatures, while over 6,000 people loved the campaign Facebook page.

FOTJA also surveyed 212 local residents, with 93 percent of those polled believing the Joiners Arms to promote the social well-being of the community and 90 percent saying they missed the pub opening.

However, the council’s decision means that the place is considered to be of significant importance to the local community, offering some protection against future changes in use, and gives activists the right to bid on the building’s it is put up for sale.

“It seems to me that the Joiners Arms site may still have a non-incidental use in the future (for example, premises that sell alcohol) that further the social welfare or social interests of the community, just like Joiners Arms has done this in the past, ”wrote Jackie Odunoye, Head of the Tower Hamlet Council Strategy Regeneration and Sustainability Department, in a letter to FOTJA.

“I consider it realistic to think that there may continue to be continued non-incidental community use of the site that promotes the social well-being or social interests of the local community. To be complete, I think such non-incidental use is realistic in the next five years.

“I consider that the land meets the requirements of Article 88 (1) or 88 (2) of the 2011 Law on Localism and, therefore, I consider it to be land of community value. . On this basis, I maintain the decision – the subject of review.

Adam Price, treasurer of FOTJA, said the move provided a breath of fresh air and re-energized the campaign, with the goal now being to transform the pub into the only cooperative-owned LGBTQIA community center in London with a bar in late license. Although he has not yet heard of the building being put up for sale, he is convinced that FOTJA will be able to raise funds if the carpenters are put on the market.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” Price said. “In terms of fundraising, we would have six months to do it, but that’s extended to nine months, which is a bonus. We are all convinced that we can use our abilities and our reach to motivate people to do so. That’s also part of the real draw of it for us, is that it adds six to nine months of extra time to developers’ plans, which they often don’t like. It’s an additional way for us to have a little influence. The goal is to raise funds and I think we would be able to do it. “

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