Campaigners battling to save a community pub are celebrating after Tower Hamlets Council decided to uphold its Asset of Community Value (ACV) status.
The Joiners Arms on Hackney Road held its last party in January when it closed down to make way for developers, but was granted the protective status following a hard-fought campaign by Friends of the Joiners Arms (FOTJA).
FOTJA is made up of Tower Hamlets residents and individuals who identify as LGBTQIA.
The group wants the Joiners to become London’s only cooperatively owned and democratically run LGBTQIA Community Centre, while maintaining its function as a pub with late license.
Under the ACV, the campaigners have the right to bid on the building if it goes up for sale. The status also provides some protection against future change of use.
The current owners of the building sought to revoke the ACV listing on the grounds the property did not further the social welfare and interests of the community.
But Tower Hamlets council overruled the appeal stating that the site could still serve the interests of the community as the Joiners Arms has done in the past.
Jackie Odunoye, Service Head for Strategy Regeneration & Sustainability at Tower reviewed the appeal.
In a letter to FOTJA she wrote: “I consider it realistic to think that there can continue to to be an ongoing non-ancillary community use for the site which furthers the social well-being or social interests of the local community.”
Friends of the Joiners Arms Co-Chair, Amy Roberts said: “We’re over the moon that our ACV status has been upheld.
“It’s great to know that Tower Hamlets council recognises the ongoing struggles of LGBTQIA peoples and how places like the Joiners helps the social well-being of this community.”
A Tower Hamlets council spokesperson said: “The application from the Friends of the Joiners Arms was considered to meet the necessary criteria, and this original decision has been upheld.”