UK’s oldest gay pub saved by mixed use classification

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Saved: the oldest gay pub in Britain the Royal Vauxhaul Tavern granted new licence
Saved: the oldest gay pub in Britain the Royal Vauxhaul Tavern granted new licence

Related tags: Royal vauxhall tavern, Public house, Bar

Iconic gay pub the Royal Vauxhall Tavern has been granted a mixed use (sui generis) classification, protecting it against development.

The classification means the London pub has been confirmed as a combination of pub, nightclub and performance space and anyone looking to use it differently would have to fight for planning permission.

Royal Vauxhall Tavern campaigner Rob Holley told The Morning Advertiser​: “We are thrilled that Lambeth Council has officially designated the Royal Vauxhall Tavern an equal mix of pub, night club and cabaret venue, plus protected ancillary use of its accommodation.

“This means the Tavern's use must be balanced between these activities, and a new buyer couldn't parachute in a chain franchise or convert the top floors into private residential.”

Pub is on the market

However, Holley has claimed the pub is on the market and campaigners are concerned about what it could mean for the site.

He added: “This is great news. However, we've also learned that Christie & Co are selling the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on behalf of Immovate without triggering the ACV status with Lambeth Council.

“Because the sale is taking place without vacant possession being provided this does not trigger a moratorium as it is a sale of a going concern. It is a frustratingly sneaky way of avoiding the asset of community value (ACV) implications.

“We have it on good authority that Steve Cox (the man behind Faucet Inn - the company responsible for closing the iconic Black Cap pub​) has put in a bid for the company that owns the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

'Royal Vauxhall Tavern's ACV'

“We urgently call upon Immovate to engage with the spirit of the law and activate the Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s ACV status.

“We [Royal Vauxhall Tavern Future] are now ready to launch a community bid. The community group, made up of Tavern performers, promoters and punters, are ready to kick off the biggest community buy-out in Britain.

“We want to bring the Royal Vauxhall Tavern into community ownership to safeguard its future for its hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.”

The Morning Advertiser ​contacted Steve Cox from Faucet Inn, Christie & Co and Lambeth Council but they did not respond.

  • Have a pub to sell or want to see what's available? Check out our property site​.

Related topics: Licensing law, Property law

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