UPDATE: #SAVETHEYARD Tuesday 1o.3.15
Andy Jones…manager of the YARD is proud to announce “Well done, Westminster Council has rejected the application to redevelop The Yard!”
In a post on Facebook he wrote:
“I am so humbled by all of the support!
Councillors Jonathan Glanz, Paul Church and Glenys Roberts did an amazing job as did everyone who took the time to tweet or write a letter of support!
I would also like to thank English Heritage for their letter of confirming our historic significance and the planning committee for making the right conservation based decision! Apparently we had support from as far away as Argentina and New Zealand!!!
Thankyou everyone as our Victorian stables and carriage house, which has already survived two world wars, lives to fight another day. Lord Kitchener would be proud!!!!
You are all amazing and I can’t thankyou enough!!!! That includes all of my staff and the people/organisations that helped with the investigations and campaign as we could not have done it without you all!!!!
TOGETHER WE SAVED THE YARD!!!!”
UPDATE: #SAVETHEYARD Thurs 29.1.15
It seems the YARD has staved a redevelopment decision, for the current time, until an inspection can be made of the venue.
Taken from the YARD website:
The Westminster Planning Committee decided to defer the first of two planning applications that have been submitted as part of the planned redevelopment of our leased premises at 57 Rupert Street until after a visit to the premises.
We were very pleased and thankful to find out that over 600 objections since last Thursday were formally made by residents, customers and the greater Soho community against this proposed application to alter the courtyard by covering it with a glass canopy and the excavation of a basement which would destroy the integral historic fabric of this unique venue. This on top of the 2700 signature petition submitted last year.
Andy Jones, Owner of The Yard bar says “We are pleased that Westminster’s planning committee have heard our campaign to save the historic yard and stable building and decided to defer their decision until they have seen the premises. We’ve had so much support from so many people to help save them. We still need to make sure that they make the right decision and also the next application for three flats to be built on the stable roofs doesn’t get the go ahead either. So watch this space!”
Cllr Jonathan Glanz, West End ward councillor says “I think it is time to draw a line in the sand. At Soho’s heart are quirky and unique premises of great character run by independent businesses including shops, bars and restaurants. We need to preserve these businesses or risk Soho becoming just another homogenised city centre. The Yard is a successful, well-run and popular part of the community. I am pleased sense prevailed and my fellow councillors saw the importance of this historic building and the independent, and much loved business it contains.”
Cllr Glenys Roberts, West End ward councillor says “Since we wrote the Soho Action Plan in 2007, we’ve seen so many other examples of cultural or built heritage eroded. I’m very happy to see the community getting fully behind preserving the unique culture of Soho. I thank the committee members for their decision and will carry on working hard with others in our community for schemes that are suitable and an enhancement.”
This is only the first step in protecting this one of a kind historic and public Soho space against the onslaught of redevelopment and modernisation. There is a lot of work still to be done and we will continue to keep the pressure on the local council to prevent this redevelopment from happening.
Again thank you for everyone’s support so far.
We are all very aware on the shrinking gay scene. A bar closing because it failed is one thing, but a bar that is thriving and being forced to close is another.
We have just received this press release from the Yard concerning planed redevelopment of the venue and area. We are not sure about the bar’s lease and how this can be carried out while that is in effect…however Westminster seems keen to give the planned proposals the go ahead. How quick this will happen, if it gets approved, we don’t know…but it looks like we could be loosing another bar in the heart of Soho to be replaced by some “lovely” flats.
This is the press release:
The Yard bar and restaurant in Rupert Street is fighting development plans to cover the hugely popular, picturesque and last remaining Victorian open stable yard in Soho and dig down to create a large new basement. The developer is also keen to build three new flats over the bar and an historic timber pitched roof would be lost.
The Yard, which is independently run, has been given just a week’s notice that Westminster City Council intends to give the plans approval at a committee meeting next Tuesday, 27 January. The Yard needs your support to help stop this development.
The Yard is a popular part of Soho’s culture that caters for the area’s residents, workers, tourists and the LGBT community. The building has been recognised by Westminster Council as an unlisted building of merit. However, the new development would see it close and another independent trader would be lost from the area permanently. The new restaurant and flats would be sold to the highest bidder and another generic big brand name would replace this magical getaway within the bustling streets of Soho.
The Yard has received support from customers, local councillors, residents and businesses. They need more help to make sure Westminster City Council’s planning committee know how unpopular a decision to redevelop 57 Rupert Street would be.
Local Councillor Jonathan Glanz has come out in support of The Yard, saying:
“The proposals would be an unacceptable intensification on the site, would see customers forced out onto a busy thoroughfare to smoke creating a nuisance and would damage the local Conservation Area. There are very few places where customers can enjoy a drink and smoke away from the busy streets of Soho. Westminster seeks to preserve the culture of Soho and that doesn’t mean there should be no development, but its got to enhance the area.”
Please email Westminster City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org and quote 14/04624/FULL to object to the application.