New gay club to open in London with a 5am licence

A new gay club in Vauxhall has been given the go ahead to open with a 5am licence.

Bloc South, run by Wayne Shires who also runs venues in Dalston and Camden, will be the first LGBT nightclub to open in the capital for several years.

Speaking to the Morning Advertiser, licensing lawyer Andrew Wong said the council ruling was “fantastic news for the LGBT community, particularly following the closure of so many iconic venues in recent times”.

Nearly half of all London’s gay clubs and pubs have closed since 2007.

Lambeth Council does have an ‘Hours Policy’ which preventings new nightclubs from opening later than 2am, however, ruled that it could be applied flexibility, and made an exception for Bloc South.

Despite some objections to the new club, it had also received local support.

Writing in support of the application, Lord Brian Paddick, former Police Borough Commander, said there was a need for “safe spaces” for LGBT people.

New gay club to open in London with a 5am licence

“The sub-committee will be aware of trends in the LGBTQ community in recent years, including the closing of many LGBTQ venues in London,” he added.

“There has also been a move to arranging to meet people ‘online’, with the inherent dangers associated with not meeting in a neutral location first.

“In my opinion, there is a real need for ‘safe spaces’ for members of the LGBTQ community.”

In 2015 The Black Cap pub was set to be converted in to a cafe, and lesbian club Candy Bar closed in 2014.

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern was also revealed to be being sold to a new owner this month, amid a battle to make the building a community owned venue.

Campaigners only found out discovered the venue was in “advanced” stages of selling after they has secured special protections from Lambeth Council.