Westminster Council rejects plans to redevelop Soho bar The Yard

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Plans to redevelop Soho gay bar The Yard have been shot down by Westminster City Council.

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

The plans were rejected by Westminster City Council this week, after an extended campaign to rescue the bar.

The council’s planning committee rejected the plans on the ground of historical interest and importance to the local community and the wider city – after the local LGBT community made a number of submissions in favour of the Rupert Street bar.

Over 600 messages were received 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.”

Yard Bar wrote on Facebook: “Pleased to announce that the planning application was rejected by Westminster City Council!”