Westminster will not allow a new nightclub on G-A-Y site

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Plans for the redevelopment of the Tottenham Court area from the City of Westminster specifically rule out a nightclub on the present site of G-A-Y.

One of central London’s best-known gay venues is to be demolished as part of the Crossrail project.

Tottenham Court Road tube station will be extensively redeveloped and the council has submitted detailed plans for the area for public consultation.

The Astoria, which hosted G-A-Y for 15 years, was opened in 1927 as a cinema and was converted into a theatre in 1976.

Despite protests from famous musicians and petitions signed by tens of thousands of people, the building will be pulled down.

G-A-Y nights played host to performances from Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, the Spice Girls, Girls Aloud, Suga Babes and X-Factor winner Shayne Ward.

“As a site for a large entertainment use, although within the stress area, it is considered to be appropriate for continued use as a theatre which could also be used as a live music venue, but not a nightclub,” the draft planning brief said.

“In those very exceptional circumstances where it is necessary to redevelop a theatre, a suitable replacement theatre will be required to be provided within a stated period.

“The approved scheme from 1996 for redevelopment of the Astoria site provided a replacement theatre at sub-basement level, beneath the ticket hall, with seating for 250.

“The Council will continue to require a replacement theatre to be provided on either the Astoria or Goslett Yard site.

“The Council would require the theatre to be of a larger size than 250 seats, as it considers that a 250 seat theatre is unlikely to be viable.”

The brief for the site of the Astoria is available online here: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/environment/planning/ldf/spds/planning-briefs/crossrail/tcr-east.cfm

“Westminster say there are too many clubs and bars in Soho – they call it a stress area – and they refuse to permit any more,” a source close to the redevelopment told PinkNews.co.uk

“We are publishing a revised draft planning brief for the Crossrail Tottenham Court Road Station Eastern Ticket Hall site in order to seek the views of residents, organisations and interested parties on the issues facing the site,” Westminster Council said.

“The consultation period will run for six weeks from 4th August 2008 and any comments received will be considered and then taken in to account when developing a revised version of the brief.

“It is anticipated that a final draft will be reported back to the Committee later this year for their agreement to adopt it as a Supplementary Planning Document.”

Click here to take part in the consultation.